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Observations on Surveillance

“After working with people who are involved with the ‘justice’ system for a number of years, I often ask myself why our society is committed to surveillance and prisons, despite overwhelming evidence that it is not solving social issues.” 


Drawing on research on the surveillance industrial complex as well as abolitionist perspectives, Sara invites us to reflect on our rights as individuals and as a collective to privacy, our rights to consent within the surveillance industry as well as who is actually benefiting from this surveillance. Through a series of haunting imagery that personifies the surveillance itself, Sara's work contemplates what safety and security look like for everyone in the community and asks us to question what alternative avenues for managing society could shift the focus from viewing safety as the responsibility of corporations and individuals, to that of the community.


Through a series of black and white film images developed during a 6 months residency with the Women's Museum of Australia in the cell blocks of the Old Alice Springs Gaol, Sara turns the camera on itself documenting methods of surveillance and methods of seeking ‘safety’ in Mparntwe. Observations on Surveillance aims to open up space to reflect on the ethics and effects on our community that the use of prisons and surveillance has, as well as space to reflect on the urgency to imagine alternatives. 

Observations on Surveillance is now exhibiting at the Women's Museum of Australia from 5  - 20 April 2024 as a part of CELLBLOCK - three solo exhibitions by Mathew Dargan, Georgie Mattingley and Sara Maiorino responding to the Old Alice Springs Gaol. 

Listen to our interview on 8CCC radio here

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