Bob Brown made his name as a crusading Greens senator and environmental activist, but he says in a parallel universe he would have been a photographer.
An Adelaide University photographic exhibition is doing its bit to create that universe, featuring Brown’s photos alongside entries in this year’s Images of Justice competition.
The competition organisers invited professional and amateur photographers to “explore the concept of truth within the context of justice.”
Courtrooms, lawyers and famous legal figures feature in many of the entries, but Brown says his photos focus on environmental justice.
“Justice isn’t just about giving everyone an equal law, it’s about a wider view of the biosphere,” he said.
“It’s illegal to rape or murder or rob someone, but it’s not illegal to rob from our children and grandchildren and damage the biosphere that is supposed to support them.”
One of his photos shows a Tasmanian devil’s footsteps – with a distinctive 2-1-1 pattern – on a beach on the rugged Tarkine coast.
“Governments at a state and federal level want to approve logging in the world-heritage recognised Tarkine wilderness, and I don’t see that as justice,” he said.
Student photographer Richard Cooper submitted an entry titled I Shall Give the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth.
The photo shows a man swearing an oath with his fingers crossed behind his back.
“The image is symbolic of the fact that even under oath not every witness will tell the ‘truth’,” he said.
– The exhibition runs from October 18 to November 1 at the University of Adelaide. Winners will be announced on October 25.