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A legacy of work, creativity and resistance

Dramatic union banners of the day (many larger than 4 by 3 metres) and historical objects alongside commissioned contemporary works by visual artists Sarah Contos, Will French and Franck Gohier are on display.

A silent documentary, The Great Strike, filmed during the strike by Arthur Tinsdale and suppressed at the time, had only one private screening on October 8, 1917. Surviving fragments of it have been reconstructed into a 16-minute film.

At the exhibition opening on Friday July 14, Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah spoke of a great tradition of work, creativity and resistance that has always existed in the workshops since they were built in the 1880s. Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, who opened the exhibition, was just one of those present who had forebears who had worked at Eveleigh Railway Workshops.

Throughout the Great Strike Community Day on August 5 Carriageworks will host various behind-the-scenes tours, sign-writing and paper collage workshops, as well as commissioned performances. At 10am Raquel Ormella’s “A Handshake with the Past” will commence a walk along Wilson Street. The Riff Raff Radical Marching Band will play trade union and contemporary songs, and at 1pm Andrew Byrne and Tom Nicholson’s brass band will play a special tribute, “Towards a Monument to the Great Strike”.

The day will wind up at 3-4pm with a forum discussion moderated by Anna Clark, co-director of the UTS Australian Centre for Public History.

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