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Glebe reconnected post-iso through picnics and exhibitions

GLEBE: On Thursday, June 17, members of the Glebe community gathered at Glebe Café to launch a special photographic exhibition. The event was hosted by the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion at the University of Technology Sydney in partnership with Megan Fletcher, current Chair of the Forest Lodge and Glebe Coordination Group (FLAG) and Tom Psomotragos, a photographer with over 20 years’ experience and a local Glebe resident.

The exhibition brought key members of the community, such as Aunty Kathryn Dodd Farrawell and Deputy Lord Mayor, Jess Scully, who noted that the photographs provided a “time capsule” of a unique time in history; a time when community members gathered after Covid-19 inflicted restrictions faced during 2020. Elaine Patterson, Area Manager for the City of Sydney, remarked that events such as these were testament to the community’s strength after months of social isolation.

In early December 2020, the Social Impact Team from the centre conveyed a call out for groups to come together through Covid-safe picnics.

Jointly called We Are Glebe, seven pop-up picnics took place in the beautiful pocket parks of Glebe: MJ Doherty Reserve, Ernest Pedersen Reserve, the Library Corner, Foley Park and St James Park.

The picnic groups reflected Glebe’s diversity with mums, carers and bubs, artist groups, patrons from the Have-a-chat café/Glebe Computer Project, St. Helen’s gardeners, Treehouse regulars and other Glebe community members.

Mr Psomotragos took photographs on both days of the picnics. From June 17, these “time capsules” have taken centre stage in different areas of Glebe: St. Helen’s Community Garden, Glebe Café and the Old Fire Station. For around two weeks, the photographs were available in these pop-up exhibition spaces.

The picnics and the exhibitions were supported by the City of Sydney’s Love Glebe Community Grant funding initiative. Sharing the We Are Glebe photographs amplified the love of and for Glebe: reconnecting community after isolation. During this current resurgence of Covid-19 cases, this reconnection is important to hold on to in order to celebrate the resilience of the Glebe community.

Dr Elaine Laforteza is Social Impact Practitioner with the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion.

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