International Peace Day in Melbourne, 21 September – 1, Billboard Launch at Federation Square

Train arriving - billboard in background

What looks at first to be rather cryptic graffiti is in fact a billboard carrying an entry in a young girl’s diary from 1972, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Artist Kathleen McCann, who was responsible for the performance Who By Fire reported here on 4 June, negotiated with the management of Federation Square to display the billboard on Russell Street near the intersection with Flinders Street – where it is clearly visible from passing trains as well as the road.

the billboard in closeup

Closeup

The diary was kept by her sister, then nine years old, and contains besides the featured entry others such as “today there was five fires…”, “We went to the doctors for our injection There was alot of explosions tonight”, “today was a bloody sunday 13 people were murderded by the soldiers”. (Facsimiles from her sister’s diary are used in Kathleen McCann’s contribution to the series of poster published by Breakdown Press under the title ‘Peace Posters’.

The diary- open at the page

THe diary - open at the page

Kathleen with the diary- Dave Sweeney of ACF looks on

Kathleen with the diary- Dave Sweeney of ACF looks on

Today was chosen to “launch” the billboard, and the artist can be seen here with her parents and fellow activists as well as a representative of the management. There is an AVANTcard of the featured diary entry, and the Peace Posters are obtainable from the publisher – email distro@breakdownpress.org.

Artist with family and others at the launch

Artist with family and others at the launch

There was also the option of a stamp to mark the occasion:

Arm with diary entry ink-stamped - billboard in background

Another view, with MCG and Rod Laver Arena in background

Another view, with MCG and Rod Laver Arena in background

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