To the Person of Adam Ferguson, The Australian photographer Adam Ferguson , born in 1978, primarily for his documentation of war and crisis areas in Afghanistan, Iraq, India, or Niger, a name, and has been honored many times. For his project “Through the Outback” continued Ferguson for three months by those Australian regions that are only sparsely populated – the Outback takes up 73 percent of the area of Australia.
MIRROR ONLINE: Mr. Ferguson, we Germans think of “Outback” in far country, Cowboys, kangaroos and the sunset glowing Sandstone monolith Uluru. But they are returned with other images from your research trip.
Ferguson: Nowadays many of the romantic myths around the Outback. They shape the contemporary idea of Australia and are celebrated in the popular culture, in songs or movies. But I wanted to find out what it means beyond the clichés, to live there. Because the reality is different.
MIRROR ONLINE: How?
Ferguson: farmers have to fight for the last six years, increasingly with periods of drought. Smaller cities are not dying out, by the mechanization of the farms there is as much work as before; the young people are moving to the cities.
MIRROR ONLINE: How far Australia is the refurbishment of the difficult colonial heritage?
Ferguson: Australia is a country that was ultimately stolen from its original owners. This experience is still deeply rooted in the Bush culture, even if in the past 20 years, a certain change of thinking took place and the land rights were returned. Racism and sexism are still very well. The relationship between White and Aboriginal-Australians is bleak, tense, and complex. I have tried on photos. Another aspect is – if you will – a colonial hangover.
MIRROR ONLINE: What do you mean?
Ferguson: Politically, Australia has always focussed on the UK, as a kind of mother ship, even if we operate independently. If you are traveling in the remote corners of the country, met a still, this outdoor post mentality: to as White alone on the country by beating, – in relative terms – more Recently, the country of the Aborigines.
MIRROR ONLINE: For the photo project commissioned by the “New York Times” they traveled 16,000 kilometers across the country. What was the biggest challenge, the reality in the Bush to capture?
Ferguson: I Also take pictures of the archetypes that exist in the popular culture: the track finder, the Cowboy, the Shearer, the Drover. But I’m trying it on a way that contrasts with the sentimental, nostalgic narrative. Sometimes I notice when editing the photos, that these stereotypes have found their way into the pictures. That is simply the symbolism that is already created in objects, or people, of the people I photograph. Often, I sorted those photos again.
MIRROR ONLINE: Which recordings of their performances came the next?
Ferguson: , For example, the picture of a man holding a dead kangaroo in the arms. When people think of the Outback, you can see lively animals. Or people with cowboy hat. This kangaroo hunter from South Australia I have set very formally. Similarly, the portrait of a young woman in a Bikini standing with a bored expression on your face in front of a toilet building in the mining town of Broken Hill. It is beautiful, but at the same time ugly. This kind of pictures one would never see in a brochure, which advertises the Outback.
MIRROR ONLINE: Which encounter has moved you the most?
Ferguson: Those with Daisy Ward. I met you in the middle of Nowhere at the border to Western Australia. She needed a ride home – in their Aboriginal community in Warakurna, about 300 kilometers away. Out of gratitude she offered me to stay there. Normally you need a permit. However, as one of the tribal elders of the Ngaanyatjarra you could invite me directly. She showed me the place in the middle of the Bush, where she was born. Daisy is a strong woman, which belongs to Australians of a Generation of aboriginal people-that are connected to their country; something that is disappearing under the influence of globalization.
MIRROR ONLINE: As a photographer, you were so far mainly in international war zones and crisis areas. Why now Australia?
Ferguson: In a way, it was part of a self-prescribed therapy. I had reached a point in my career, to me the coverage of conflicts and social problems are sobered. The work began, me auszuzehren. Including my love for the story was suffering to tell, and photography. I had a desperate Desire to return to photograph my own home and things I know well. My parents both grew up in the Outback. My mother is from the farming village of Yeoval in New South Wales, where their grandparents lived.
MIRROR ONLINE: you Have discovered in your Research for something New?
Ferguson: again and again people said to me, across all layers of the population, that they like the Isolation. You would give them freedom. This has surprised me. I wondered if you have the only have poisoned, with the feeling, no choice. They were very skeptical of the idea, to ever live in a big city. With neighbors next door, the noise and pollution of the environment.
MIRROR ONLINE: How do you have this insulation felt?
Ferguson: began to make me crazy. For the last 15 years I have lived in cities. The silence and the Vastness of me is almost too much.
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Australia-Quiz Are you ready for the bloody island?