Dear Brunswick.

by Alex from Maybe ( ) Together

Dear Brunswick,whatdoestheworld_August 27, 2013_SA_1_lowres copy

Wow. And Thank you.
And yes. And no. And maybe.

I’ve read all your words.
I’ve talked to many of you.
I asked a question.
And you’ve asked me a gazillion back.

Within an hour of this chalkboard going up –
you’d had a fair go.
Within 24 hrs it was completely full:
Refugees are welcome.
I love you.
The Simpsons Theme song.
Give animals voices!
Give people voices.
More singing.
Per adua ad astra  – which I learnt meant : reach for the stars
And I watched a dad write for his child “more knock-knock jokes”.

And conversations began between you.
Ticking and crossing.
Agreeing on uke playing, truth and empathy to those who seek asylum.

You’ve talked about veganism.
Music tastes.
Suggested we should listen to Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama Or… our mothers.

You wrote rants:
“tights are not pants”
Fix upfield bike path
Save public housing
No to fracking.
Less people selling me things!

And a round of applause to the person who wrote every week “stop the pornification of our society”.

Women’s safety is a concern here.
And violence.
You reminded me that the anniversary of Jill Meagher’s death is this this month.

You’ve drawn rainbows, and sunshine.
And trees. Lots of trees.
And scribbles.
And someone yesterday wrote “Draw. It will calm your soul.”

After a while other languages appeared.
Timorese. Chinese. Japanese.
I couldn’t understand a lot of it, but was so glad to see it.
I asked a girl to translate and in broken English she explained: My home, is your home.

It was clear this area is a safe Labor seat and Tony wasn’t our favourite person.
The board got quite messy in the week before the election.
And quiet afterwards….

“We Tried”. You wrote.
“Why?” “Why Tony?”
And, well, a fair bit of swearing too.

And on Tuesdays and Saturdays we’ve had music, and placards.
Rants, poems and stories.
Children, artists, teenagers, activists, a choir, my housemate and neighbours.
A few brave strangers too.
I’ll never forget a woman getting up with her bub and yelling “I just love Brunswick, it’s been so good moving here!”

And I have no idea what has been said while I’ve not been here.
But it’s moved a bit, so I know it’s at lease being prodded.

I was a bit scared about doing a public sculpture.
Not sure what would get damaged.
But nothing has.
Even the bloody chalk box came undone and has stayed here.

People of Brunswick you have reaffirmed my much loved statement

We will be taking the yellow down this week.
The megaphone, grass and chalkboard.
But the plinth will be here still.

As it always was.
And I hope we all use it still.

A massive thank you to Dan Mitchell and Moreland City Council, who let me do this project.
Dan has been a very trusting and supportive curator.
There are few councils that would back this project – and I am very glad that I live and work in one that does.

And Brunswick.

Because you’ve been everything, and more.

– Alex Desebrock Maybe (___) Together. 

To read more about this project “What Does The World Need To Hear” click here.