Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism

Woroni-Retrospective-Cover-WallDuring the month of October, aMBUSH Gallery Kambri will be filled with sights and sounds that represent student life at ANU over the past seven decades, with the opening of the new exhibition Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism.

It’s a fascinating collection from the archives of Woroni – the student media organisation of the ANU, which sprang to life in 1950. What started as a humble student newspaper has since morphed into a print magazine, a website, a radio station and a TV program, providing multiple outlets for ANU students to have their voices heard.

Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism proudly showcases the diverse work and thoughts of hundreds of ANU students who have contributed to Woroni over the years. Upon its establishment, Woroni quickly forged a reputation for scrutinising and commenting on social justice, political, and environmental themes, to name a few.

These topics are reflected in the sizeable collection of material chosen for display, and will evoke feelings of nostalgia, pride, reminiscence, wonder and amusement in viewers of all ages.

Curated by current Woroni staff and presented by aMBUSH Gallery, it’s an entertaining and often humorous retrospective that affectionately highlights the different generations of students who have passed through the university, and their engagement with issues both specific to their era, and those that have remained the same over time.

The exhibition includes a 7-metre-long timeline feature wall, a display of full-colour reprints of dozens of past Woroni covers, an overview of the history of Woroni, plus separate walls devoted to Activism (feminism, Indigenous rights, LGBTIQ+ issues, politics, free speech), Outrage (sex, drugs, nudity, profanity), Woroni Radio and Woroni Television.

Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism doesn’t shy away from the controversy surrounding the use of the word ‘woroni’. Chosen by the editorial board of 1950, it’s suggested it was taken without permission from the language of the Wadi Wadi nation from northern Victoria, with the translation meaning ‘mouth’ and perhaps extrapolated to ‘mouthpiece’.

The modern-day Woroni Board acknowledge the complicated history behind the name and the legacy of stolen Indigenous names it contributes to.

Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism
aMBUSH Gallery – Kambri Cultural Centre, The Australian National University, Acton (Canberra)
Exhibition: 1 October – 1 November 2020
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.ambushgallery.com for details.

Image: Woroni – 70 Years of Outrage and Activism Cover Wall (installation view)