September, 21 2010
Karratha
Mollie Hewitt
Writing

We took the first flight up to Karratha and were welcomed by gusts of wind blowing dirt across the flats.

Unlike previous trips which have involved moving through places, we were based this time in Karratha alone for four days. Giving us the chance to look at and consider community, at the β€˜in-between' of nature and industry.

Gathering supplies in the Karratha shopping centre I found it fascinating to witness the social and cultural phenomenon of towns that are substantially populated by fly-in-fly-out workers. It is like a void, a lapse in time and place where things work differently. It is accepted and common practice for two men to do pedestrian, domestic activities together – like grocery shopping or dry-cleaning. Expected social practices are warped to accommodate the strange lifestyle and social make up of mining towns. I remember a friend once comparing it to the army – a strange and unbalanced network – which makes me wonder what the long term social repercussions will be.

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