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In The Shadows features archival images from the State Government and National Archives collections, alongside contemporary street photography from Alicia Valle Serrano, Richard Harris, Michael Edwards, Sarah Ruhullah, Kelly Tang, Andrew Wilson, Mark Forbes, Andrew Tan, Cathrin Plunkett, Adrian Whear and Liz Kajko. Taking a broad approach to the theme, the exhibition explores both physical and conceptual aspects of shadows and darkness.

Archival photographs afford us the opportunity to consider the shadows of the past, such as health problems for smokers which were intentionally unacknowledged by advertisers for decades, or in a more literal sense, spies, whose lives depended on the shadows to work effectively for their governments. Then there are the metaphorical shadows which are cast onto under-represented communities. On the contemporary side, street photographers explore issues ranging from living under the shadow of 'big brother' through to how we turn a blind eye to the social issues surrounding us.

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Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

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