An Interesting History Project

‘The towneys watched back’ is a project by artist Fernando do Campo, who has been researching the histories of house sparrow introductions across the USA, Argentina and Australia. Through archival research, colonial language, and site-specific artistic interventions across Ararat, Fernando do Campo explores this local narrative and the house sparrow as a potent symbol of colonisation.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the ceremonial release of house sparrows from a balcony at the former Bull and Mouth Hotel, Barkly Street, Ararat.¬† As the Advertiser explained in 1867: ‘On Tuesday morning last a cage of English sparrows arrived in Ararat by coach…’ The local community of Ararat rejoiced their release … for hours afterwards wherever one or two could be seen knots of persons gathered to watch their movements‚Ķ’

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