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Jesse Marlow
Indigenous people around Alice Springs, Australia
2006

Alice Springs is a small town in the middle of Australia. People often describe it as the country’s heartbeat, pulsing away in the hot red desert that most Australians never visit. But if this is the country’s heart, then it is a life force that is weakening by the second.
A large concentration of Australia’s indigenous population lives in and around Alice Springs. Twenty camps scattered around the town, often in industrial wastelands, house those travelling into Alice from their outback communities, in conditions that resemble those of South African ghettos of the 1980s. The Town Camps are patrolled nightly by a group of indigenous locals from Alice who call themselves the Night Patrol. They act as mediators with the police, who often have difficulties dealing with indigenous crimes, due to lack of knowledge of tribal laws and local dialects. The crime rate is high, family feuds can last generations, and the consumption of alcohol is the highest in the country. Today, this is the main reason everyday indigenous life is at risk. Also, traditional culture is being forgotten by a generation of youth influenced by the American gangsta rap scene. Alice is my way of showing what is left in Australia’s ‘heart’.

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