Nauru Diary - Sally McInerney Photography

Shown at Ginkgo Gallery, Glebe, May 2013


Unintended autobiographies can be read between the lines of certain handmade signs and notices. Concerning lost companions, transactions of labour, sex, food and unbroken horses, declarations of love, the memorialisation of self and others, they seem like private letters to the world, posted from shadow-caves on the fringe of public life.

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Farrah and her grandmother, Esther

Farrah Roland Demaure and her grandmother, Esther Dube Roland, by the library door at USP Nauru. Esther is also the grandmother of Alamanda Lauti, Director of USP Nauru. Twelve hundred Nauruans were deported to the remote Truk islands by the Japanese occupying forces in World War Two. Of those deported, fewer than 800 survived. Among them was Esther, aged fifteen.
Esther is holding a copy of an old family photograph with her father at the centre. It is annotated in the handwriting of Thomas Cude, chief of Police on Nauru before WW2. Cude was in the ship that went around the Truk islands after the Japanese surrender, to search for the survivors and bring them back to Nauru. Angam Day, October 26, is Nauru’s annual commemoration of survival.
24 June 2015