The notion of shelter differs from one socio-economic setting to the other. The free market socio-political-economic forces that believe government- funded social security is not a viable process, contributes significantly in altering the perception and notion of shelter, across the globe today. As a country founded on private property rights - more or less similar to those in the United States - private house ownership carries a high social value in the Australian Dream. It would not be wrong to say the opposite is true for public or social housing.

The Airds Bradbury social housing estate, one of the largest of its kind in Australia, was established in mid 1970s. Today it is going through a passage of structural transformation. There are 1470 homes with a population of around 3000 people. In 10~15 years this estate is expected have over 2000 homes, 70 per cent of which would be sold to private owners while the rest would remain as social housing.

I live not far from Airds Bradbury social housing estate. I photographed the community members in private and public spaces. Pop-up studio was set up and the community was invited to come for family portraits. Community members were given their photographs. Stories were recorded too. As they unfold, some of these stories argue strongly for a robust social safety net, making it clear that availability of social housing continues to shield these members of community from extremely vulnerable situations.

This work is my experience and impression of a large housing state in an era of neo-liberalism.

Audio installation

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