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Vale Jack Carnegie (March 1948 – September 2021)

On March 22 Jane Rogers opened an exhibition as a memorial for Jack Carnegie, presenting some of his photography between the 1980s and 2017.

She had spent the six months, since her husband and partner in activism died of cancer last year, drawing together the works for a display in his DUCKRABBIT gallery in Little Eveleigh Street, Redfern, as fundraiser for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. As she said on the evening, “Jack believed in the power of the collective to make a difference. Together in his name we can take this last action.”

The following Saturday night neighbours and friends gathered again in the gallery to reminisce and tell stories of Jack’s activism.

Hall Greenland recalled Jack as “a photographer with a good eye who was intensely concerned and interested in humanity and nature. Whenever he could, if they were under attack, he was on hand with either a banner or behind his camera to advance the struggle for our society to be equal and sustainable. [The successful] battles for Erskineville Public Housing and Erskineville School owe much to Jack who will be remembered as a battler, a man on the right side of history and instrumental in the formation of the Greens.”

Jenny Leong, MP Newtown, spoke of the transcendence of Jack’s photography of non-violent historic direct action to inspire the next generations like herself. But she also acknowledged the cost of the time they devote to their work to those closest to people involved in global activism and concluded in thanking Jane for sharing “this significant human with us all”.

Wendy Bacon spoke of how Jack’s photographs, capturing history for us, have the power to transport her back to the exact time and place of the events featured and particularly mentioned his and Jane’s grassroots contribution to community transport.

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Read Hall Greenland’s earlier tribute to Jack here – https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/vale-jack-carnegie

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