no names, just numbers

The Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with the Kempsey Dunghutti–Ngaku (DNAAG) Aboriginal Art Gallery and the Kempsey Shire Library, are hosting the exhibition ‘NO NAMES, JUST NUMBERS‘.
The aim of the exhibition is to create a space for the silenced stories of what it was like to grow up in the Kinchela Boys Home at South West Rocks.
The exhibition provides the rare occasion to start a conversation and facilitate empathy and understanding between and within communities.

NO NAMES, JUST NUMBERS‘ takes shape around a series of photographic portraits by Sydney artist/photographer Sarah Barker. These photographic portraits document some of the former inmates of the Kinchela Boys Home and introduce the adult survivors who lived in the Kinchela Boys home between 1924 and 1970. They represent some of the between 400 and 600 Aboriginal boys who were forcibly removed from their families and who spent their childhoods in this institution.

The exhibition also includes a short film, artworks, historical photographs, family snapshots, sporting achievements and various memorabilia about the boys’ lives and their involvement in the Kempsey community. It reveals both the boys’ engagement with, as well as their separation from, the local community.

The exhibition is an account of the history of the Kinchela Boys Home and the deeply personal stories of the former KBH inmates. This is a shared history. The images and objects included provide an intimate window for the audience to ‘see’ as another does and to safely experience another’s perspective. The Kinchela Men are getting older and there is an urgency to join together to listen to their stories, and to have these stories told by the men themselves. In the face of extreme and unimaginable adversity, they are asking for understanding and acceptance.

Patrons are respectfully advised that this exhibition contains images of people who have passed away.

We would like to acknowledge the Macleay River Historical Society who have been assisting with written and photographical material for the Exhibition

This Exhibiton has been made possible through funding from Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) and Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH)

Exhibition Details

Dates: Saturday 4th May – Friday 31st May
Official opening 11am Saturday 4th May by Mayor Elizabeth Campbell

Kempsey Dunghutti –Ngaku (DNAAG) Aboriginal Art Gallery, South Kempsey Park Lachlan Street
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm (closed Mondays)

Kempsey Shire Library, Elbow Street, West Kempsey.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday 10am – 1pm

Short Film: featuring historical footage of Kinchela Boys Home and interviews with the adult survivors.
Where: Oddfellows Hall, Kemp Street, Kempsey.
When: Sunday 5th May Time: 11am-1pm; Saturday 25th May Time: 11am – 1pm
Cost: gold coin donation

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