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Stories of the South is a long term documentary project exploring the lives of young Australian South Sudanese as they enter adulthood and navigate notions of cross-cultural identity in different ways.
Growing up in a rather typical white middle class suburb of Newcastle I noticed in 2004 when the South Sudanese Mayom family moved into our neighborhood. I initially became friends with the eldest son Akolde, we bonded over reggae music and playing football in the park. In 2010 I started photographing my South Sudanese friends, I distinctly remember some of the younger guys as they recounted the excitement of voting in the referendum for South Sudanese independence. Half a year later I self funded a trip to South Sudan where I spent two months documenting the birth of a nation.
This project spans five years of work while the last three specifically mostly I have shot in Sydney and Newcastle. For this story I have spent time in the homes of many of Australia's South Sudanese and also attended many bride price ceremonies, weddings, South Sudanese independence anniversary celebrations, music gigs and sport training and competitions.
This work has remained unpublished for the entirety of the project. NYT Lensblog will feature it in October 2015 and an image is an Australia Life finalist. Before this work was published I first successfully crowd funded a mobile phone photography project in Western Sydney for young South Sudanese in Sydney to show what they see in summer.
Conor will be facilitating a workshop in Liverpool on Sunday 15 May http://mylibrary.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=46978
This exhibition and workshop is supported by