Freo's View

SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN. IT’S LEAD

Posted in fremantle, women by freoview on July 6, 2014

The thing that disturbs me most with the Rolf Harris case is the silence, the fact that no one stood up and spoke out in public, while Harris was known for many years as the octopus, the one who groped and could not leave women alone, even in public in radio and TV stations. How could this happen? Why did those prominent people not reveal what was going on, to protect other women and girls from the pervert?

Why do people remain silent when they are abused, or witness abuse? Why is it considered un-Australian to dob someone in, someone who has blatantly broken the law. Isn’t it our civic duty to expose those who do wrong, to protect our community?

When I lived in Germany I was amazed that so many people claimed they had not known what happened to the millions of Jews and other people who were killed in concentration camps. Did they not ever ask what happened to their neighbours who were rounded up and taken away? Were they never curious or concerned? Did they care?

Years ago ABC presenter Susan Maushart said she had asked her female friends about abuse and eight out of ten had told her they had been or were in an abusive relationship. Should we sit back and just accept that or should we scream and yell and confront the cowardly bastards who believe women are fair game? Should we not be alert and question when we see very unhappy children avoiding certain family members, and should we not more often directly ask them if something is wrong? Time and time again we hear in the media when abuse cases are revealed, that people suspected something was not right but they did not want to interfere, and that is wrong. We can’t wait till it’s too late. We have a duty of care, especially to children.

We don’t dob in Australia. It’s just not us. We think that silence is golden, when in fact it is lead, because it let’s people and our whole community down. We can’t hope for the governments and police to do it all for us. They can’t do it without us. Be brave and stand up and don’t wait for other people to do it first, because it might never happen and more people will get badly hurt.

Roel Loopers

ROEL’S FREMANTLE PHOTO TOURS

Bookings: Text 0419 850981. Email: roel.loopers@iinet.net.au

OH WHAT SPLENDID SILENCE

Posted in fremantle, photography, western australia by freoview on March 21, 2010

I just returned from having a look at SILENCE, the exhibition and book by Brad Rimmer in the old Fremantle Prison gallery. For me this is the best show so far I have seen this year of the very many FotoFreo exhibitions.

On entering the gallery I was highly impressed with the stunning quality of the large square colour photos. The prints are superb and so are the photos.

One can sense that Brad was raised in the Western Australian wheat belt town of Wyalkatchem, as he precisely captures the daily isolation and desolation in portraits, land and street scapes and details of interiors.

I felt something similar to when I watched the movie Samson and Delilah; that foreboding sense of no future for those Brad captured. They look bored, resigned to the emptiness their lives seem to be, and hardly engage with the photographer, as they blankly look into the distance.

This is a sensitive insider show/book by someone who knows country towns and people from his own experience. I think it is great. Well done Brad Rimmer!

There is one complaint though. One cannot buy the book in the prison shop because “it is not in their system”. Brad is disappointed about it and he is right that the people who run the shop should be  more flexible and accommodating. The good news is that the New Edition book shop in High Street has got plenty of copies. Go buy a few!

Roel Loopers

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