No Stone Unturned – Landline explores people and landscapes

title slide

The episode of Landline titled ‘No Stone Unturned’ aired on the ABC on May 17, 2015. The half hour program explores the relationship between colonial settlers, stonemasons, farmers and Indigenous people with stone constructions across Australia. The impact on the landscape of changing agricultural processes through the use of stone walls and farm buildings is revealed through several experts and enthusiasts.

stone walls in the landscape

It is very useful as related material for Advanced Module C: Representation and Text Elective 2: Representing People and Landscapes, especially the poetry of Judith Wright. The image above, taken from the program, shows the boundary between paddocks, yet evokes a sense of pointless demarcation as in the misguided idea of building a rabbit proof fence from stone.

landscape

Watching the full program is enlightening about the early practices of stone building, particularly from the 18th minute when the focus turns to the role of Indigenous crafts people. If you scroll through the full transcript, you will find Denis Rose from the Gunditj Mirring Aboriginal Corporation discussing the latest archeaological finds in Victoria.

sheep wash chute

Aboriginal workers helped create this run and sheep dip in the mid 19th century and many would like heritage protection for these structures.

fish trap

fish farm

Be sure to mention a range of film techniques, such as the haunting music, slow panning shots and lingering close ups that add weight to the speaker and reinforce their authority. Notice how the above shots over a reversal or perspectives that place humans within the productive altered landscape of fish trap and fish farm. This reminds us that Aboriginals developed a symbiotic relationship with their landscape which contrasts with the radical changes created through adherence to foreign, northern hemisphere agricultural practices.

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