spreads (15).gif

The Walkley Foundation presents a digital photojournalism exhibition

The summer Australia burned, 2019-2020

It was the Black Summer – a summer of devastation and heartbreak that ravaged the eastern seaboard from the mountains to the sea, from south east Queensland, through the timbered coastal communities and hinterlands of New South Wales and into north eastern Victoria.

The flames turned their fiery breath on Tasmania and laid waste to more than half of South Australia’s iconic Kangaroo Island. In total more than 10 million hectares would be burnt out.

Old hands had feared this was coming. Long months, in some places years, of drought had sucked the last vestiges of moisture from forest and farm, coastal hamlet and urban fringe. The landscape was one vast tinderbox.

In remote country, searing winds fanned strikes from dry lightning, giving birth to the megafires – infernos of previously unmatched intensity.

The winds carried the stench of charred bush into the hearts of cities. Thousands sheltered where they could as fire ringed holiday destinations and choking smoke turned day to night.

Ordinary men and women, the firefighters of the Rural Fire Service, became the nation’s heroes. But alongside them worked the professional photographers, documenting the raw ferocity of the blazes, the bravery of those who battled them and the hope and heartbreak of communities in the path of the flames.

The work of these photojournalists took us into the heart of that epic battle, and their unforgettable images will forever inscribe on the nation’s memory what that time was like.

– Deborah Snow (@DeborahSnow), The Sydney Morning Herald (read “A summer of flame“)

“The summer Australia burned, 2019-2020” showcases the exceptional work produced by Australian photojournalists during the 2019-2020 bushfire season. The exhibition, curated by industry photo editors to represent a diversity of photographers, documents the scale of the tragedy and its impact on affected communities, as much as it captures the communal spirit and resolve that came out of the worst fires in recent Australian history.

– The Walkley Foundation

Exhibition curators and contributors: Mags King (SMH); Jeff Darmanin (The Daily Telegraph); Cassie Trotter (Getty Images); Moshe Rosenveig (Head On Photo Festival); Jessica Hromas (The Guardian).

Content warning: contains images that may be distressing to some viewers.

COMMENTS : Due to the risks associated with comments from unidentified contributors that expose The Beagle to possible legal actions under the NSW Defamation Act 2005 No 77 anonymous or Nom de Plume comments will not be available until an alternate system of author verification can be investigated and hopefully installed.

Those who provide their REAL NAME (first name AND Surname) and a verifiable email address (it won't be published) are invited to comment below. (yes it is a pain but please comply - it would be a  shame to see your comment deleted)

Those contributors KNOWN to us and verified may continue to use their First Name for ease. The primary need for all of this is due to traceability should a legal action arise.

If you need anonymity email us via our normal or encrypted email accounts

Please note that if you are looking for a previous comment that is no longer visible please contact us.