Plantation Voices

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Emerging from the sugarcane farms of tropical Queensland to cut a path to freedom, hear the stories of Australian South Sea Islanders.

Through never-before-seen original photographs, rare and restricted historical papers, and newly commissioned artworks, Plantation Voices repatriates the living history of the unknown names and faces of people tricked or kidnapped into servitude as cheap labour in Queensland’s cane fields.

More than 150 years later, the exhibition also charts the pathways of descendants in reclaiming their lost past and forging their identities into the future.

Through this free exhibition, State Library’s heritage collections give voice to the untold stories of a community that played a vital role in the shaping of our nation, and fought so fiercely to call Australia home.

Find out more about the exhibition and learn more about Australian South Sea Islander identity, culture and heritage on our Australian South Sea Islander blog.

Curator's tours will offer insights and behind-the-scenes information not normally accessible to the public. Come along and hear the real secrets behind this exhibition. Free curator's tours of Plantation Voices: Contemporary conversations with Australian South Sea islanders occur on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 11am, until 8 September.