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Deadly Mirring photography exhibition goes on display at Victorian Library

Rhiannon Clarke -

Approximately 60 photographs taken by First Nations youth are currently on display at Victoria's Ferntree Gully Library.

The photographic exhibition is the product of a state government-funded photography program for First Nations youth, highlighting the impressive photography skills of participating individuals.

The program, known as 'Deadly Mirring', was conducted through a series of workshops in 2023, developed as part of the EACH Ngarrang Gulinj-al Boordup team's Journey Tracks Cultural Health and Wellbeing Workshops.

First Nations youth were offered the chance to learn more about the art of photography, develop skills, explore new ways and opportunities to tell stories they see through their lens, with the focus on culture, health and wellbeing.

Danielle, a children's services officer at the Ferntree Gully Library, said the library are proud to showcase a curated collection of printed photographs from this program.

"The photographs are featured in the middle of the library and they'll be available for people to come and view during the library's open hours," she said.

In addition to the library exhibition, the 'Deadly Mirring' initiative not only allowed first nations youth to acquire the new skill of photography but also provided them with a platform to showcase their unique perspectives of the world.

The participants were guided by Jacinta Keefe, a professional photographer and Wiradjuri Woman.

The photography program participants were all First Nations young people with all photographs in the exhibition taken locally.

"A lot of them were actually taken in the area surrounding the library and in the library and I believe they did some down near the quarry too," Danielle said.

"It is so important for these youths to have a voice and be able to express themselves."

A launch for the exhibition was held for the collection of photographers along with their family and friends on December 19.

"On the evening of the launch and the presentation the feeling in the room was amazing and being able to see the participants feel proud was just a moment that money can't buy," Danielle said.

"You could see they felt really proud of what they had achieved and so they should."

Ferntree Gully Library wants to continue offering a safe space for children to be able to participate in workshop sessions and access photography books and magazines.

The exhibition will be on display until the end of January.

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