Returning to Rural NSW, I am brought back into the ever present cracks of prejudices toward
differences that are more seen in the social landscapes of rural Australia.
The remoteness and isolation polices the boarders from the shifts in social understandings
happening in the cities.
 
Positioning nature a symbol not just essentialist understandings but also the physicality that
brings further isolation in these areas for people of difference.
 
The biggest Hate crime against the Transgender Community is the essentialist understandings
of sex and gender that is brought to the for front of my thought in returning to Rural NSW which
only fosters the ignorance that feeds these types of crimes.
 
There has been research about “Visibility & Representation” but what about the under
represented? The people erased from our histories and social records. The people who are not
counted at all.
 
This project starts a series of works that researches one group of the under-represented in
Australia.
 
“The Under-represented” is a photographic series that keeps to my passion to use art as a form of
advocacy.
 
It speaks of the current state of Hate Crimes against Trans and Gender Diverse Community that
have escalated over the years even with the global spotlight of Trans and Gender Diverse visibility within mainstream
society.
 
This issue is ever present, laying at the heart of living Transgender and Gender Diverse in
Australia. The most marginalised group of our society is in a real everyday threat for living our
truth.
 
T.D.O.R or known as Transgender Remembrance Day is a ceremony that reads out the names of
Transgender people around the world who have been victims to Hate Crimes.
In Australia there has been only 2 names officially recorded as victims of hate crimes up to 2019. This is a
grouse under representation of people who have died in Australia by the hands of others that
took offense to their differences.
 
Complicated by the absence of critical data that isn’t collected about the victims upon death.
Makes tracing these victims impossible for researchers. Resulting in further erasure of an
already marginalised group. It’s a mis-justice that should be made visible.
 
A photographic series investigating how to represent these erased victims.
 
How do we remember the erased? The people not even counted.
 
These victims are killed twice, 1 by the hands of their killers and 2 through the inaction within
our Australian legal system to record vital data about the victims upon death.
 
In Australia the origin of what we now know as hate crimes started in the 70’s termed as
non-homosexual crimes.
 
The complexities around the erasure of the victims are compounded by the legal acts that also
protect transgender peoples right to privacy.
 
 
The uncounted Transgender & Gender Diverse Dead:

• 2019 313 Globally deaths for that year. GLOBAL TOTAL DEATHS for over a century have 3317.
• As of 2019 Only 2 Deaths of Transgender People have been recorded.
• TRANS People are indicative of the most marginalised group in our Society.
• Arvers Archives.
• Melbourne University Archive.
• Note: apply to Melbourne Uni Gallery for Public Art Memorial.
• Records date back to 1957 to 1983
• Verbal histories.
 

The shoots where staged around the Northern Rivers to use the Australian landscape as a marker of the isolation. This isolation is not just felt by the uncounted victims but a silencing that’s felt within the TGD Community on the issue.

Nature is positioned as the signifier of the violence.

The photo series started with the absent body, using material customs of death as the focus point. Followed by adding bodies of Gender Diverse models to the scene.  The bodies are composed as signifiers  of the complexities and multilayered violence enacted. These are not representative of any real victims of  hate crimes but staged to represent the over arching concerns of (mis)gendering and dead naming that cause victims to be silenced , erased and uncounted after death.

Out of respect to the known victims, I didn’t want to recreate a crime scene. Instead I used the assumptions found within my research to compose the image.

How does the dead affirm their gender?

Still today unless the person has a hospital record that affirms their gender, they are categorised by their ‘visible’ sex. The drag queen represents the many victims who have been (mis)gendered after death. They are deadnamed and assumed to be mostly gay men who crossed dressed or dragged up.

How’s does the uncounted be counted?

The most marginalised group in our society is given no value or dignity. The victims are uncounted in death and again after death. Transgender awareness and education hasn’t shifted our Society. Visibility on the everyday streets of Australia is still a battle ground for many Transgender. This violence is supported by an unchanged  system. It’s in the record keeping, database and police attitudes.

 

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