Updated: May 26
Choosing Sides Bushfire Aid Fundraiser - January 26 at Jive, Adelaide
Words and Images by Tiah Bullock
There are many versions of this article, spewed across the notes in my phone and files on my desktop. Some in a journal I rarely use. I’ve been trying to understand why I procrastinated this for so long, because I don’t think I can give a simple excuse, only that every word, every vague point I noted, felt estranged from the night as I had experienced it. But, why? Recently, I stumbled upon an essay by a theatre critic, who had explained that the hardest of moments in life are often those that possess you so intensely, their finishing is a sort of small, beating grief. Something, you can’t quite ever truly place. And I’ve decided that is very well the case, here. The ‘Bushfire Aid’ was a special evening.
I’ve always found a sense of refuge in art, and particularly the communities it cultivates. Whether to you, ‘art’ is a function of escapism, fathoms the inexplicable etc, I expect any person occupying this corner of the Internet, feels some similar way. And I, personally, love that. That slight nod. That, ‘I know that you know, that I know’, in the context of why we’re here, the thoughts and feelings we share, and how we choose to express such. It’s a collective identity, securing the common, as valid. One new ‘common’, so to speak, I think we’re all experiencing is an anxiety. That is, for our future, and the oddity of horrors, now accepted as a new norm. And, while this isn’t a place for politics (we’re here for fucking music, ‘it’s what the kids want’), I don’t think it’s longer possible to discern one from the other. We all decided that. We decided that when the community rallied together to curate exhibitions to raise funds for relief. When kids slaved over their sketchbooks and posted photos, because they didn’t have the money to help out. When photographers and film crews risked their lives to document the devastation. We decided that when we lost funding to the department and were the ones who ended up raising millions. So, yes while I am proud to be a part of this community, I’m also angry. Every person who attended the Choosing Side’s event was or is angry. And it is then because of attending said event, that I feel warranted to my anger.
I can’t then stress enough, not just my gratitude for every band that play that night, but also the importance of going to your local gig. It’s not just about spending a few dollars to kickstart someone else’s career, it’s about a larger social effort. Realising yourself – again, your emotions, thoughts, perspective – externally, and so, as a part of a larger idea. Which, I think, is so very necessary in the desire for change and positive disruptions, moving forward.
Again, I want to thank Choosing Sides for hosting a rather wonderful night. Hopefully, these pictures will do some justice in showing how it felt to be there. A personal shout out to the drummer from Jettison, who proudly showcased his (and my) politics with a simple, ‘fuck scomo’ across the chest. To Alexander Black for a very personal and intimate performance; to, Oscar the Wild for being so unapologetic; and to Busseys for their sense of lyricism.
Oscar the Wild
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