Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Wartime internment exhibition opens in Orange


Enemy Aliens: the Dunera boys in Orange, 1941 opens at Orange Regional Museum on Saturday 19 November.

The exhibition, made in partnership with the State Library of NSW, tells the little-known story of around 400 German and Austrian internees, who spent time at the Orange Showground in 1941 as part of their wartime internment.

Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair, Councillor Mel McDonell said the exhibition is a great tribute to the ‘Dunera Boys’.

“Their story is an important part of Orange’s history and I am pleased that the Orange Regional Museum can tell their story by highlighting their art,” Cr McDonell said.

”The story of the ‘Dunera Boys’ is an intrinsic part of our local history. This exhibition has facts that we should never forget.

“The collection is a reminder of the fears felt by the Orange community during that time and how this group of men saw Orange and its surroundings.’’

In September 1940, more than 2000 men were transported from Britain to Australia on board the HMT Dunera. Although many were Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution, but were declared by the British to be ‘enemy aliens’ because of their German and Austrian nationality and were sent to internment camps in regional New South Wales and Victoria.

The ‘Dunera Boys’, as they became known, included musicians, artists, philosophers, scientists, and writers. This exhibition, featuring never-before-seen artworks made in internment, tells the little-known story of the internees’ time at the Orange Showground in 1941.

Enemy Aliens was developed by Dr Seumas Spark, Adjunct Fellow in History at Monash University, Emeritus Professor Andrew Mcnamara from the Queensland University of Technology, and translator Kate Garrett, in conjunction with Orange Regional Museum. It features more than forty artworks and personal items from the archives of relatives and private lenders, as well as recently acquired collections held by the State Library of NSW.

Two events will occur around this exhibition:

  • An opening event will be held on Friday 18 November from 6pm at the Orange Regional Museum. Refreshments will be provided. Co-curator, Dr Seumas Spark, and Louise Anemaat, Executive Director Library & Information Services and Dixson
  • On Saturday 19 November at 11am exhibition co-curator Dr Seumas Spark will share his insights in Curator Conversations, a free floor talk.

Both events are free, and booking is required: https://orangemuseum.eventbrite.com.au

Enemy Aliens: The Dunera boys in Orange, 1941 is open from Saturday 19 November 2022 to Sunday 23 April 2023. The Museum is open 9am-4pm every day, and entry is free.

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