Village Voices

When people you know have near-death experiences, you tend to be a little more “honest” in your communications with them. You tend to be more willing to share the thoughts, feelings and experiences you’ve had.

After years of living in Surry Hills, I thought it was finally time to share with my family a few “horror stories” of city life.

In my first year living here, I was in a local bottle shop when an armed robbery occurred. As the criminals went about their activity, I hid down behind a stack of beer cartons. 

I never told my country family that story because I thought they would worry, and it would only add to their concerns about me living in Sydney.

I figured it was finally time to tell them about it, especially as I’d recently decided to share that story more publicly as part of the “Village Voices” public art project in Surry Hills.

“Village Voices” is located in a laneway not far from where I live. Over the years I’ve watched the stories change, as people from a variety of backgrounds reflected on their experiences.

Villages Voices and Surry Hills & Valleys Story-Telling & Photography. November 10, 2020.
In November 2020, there was also a story-telling event and photography event in the laneway, in conjunction with Surry Hills & Valleys

A few months ago, the project’s creator, Astra Howard asked me if I would contribute. As a long-term “local”, surely there were some thoughts I could add?

The first part of the text about the armed robbery and the heroin bust came easily. The second part came only recently, as I observed my family’s concern for me over that of themselves.

The idea was reinforced the other week when I was a bit sick, and once again, they seemed more concerned about me living alone and not feeling well than about their own experiences.

Pic: Astra Howard

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