Claudia Caporn's entry in Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2021 (presented by Fujifilm), Just East of Now, is a featured portfolio, and appears in the Documentary category.
Rural Australia is dying. It once used to be a thriving, prosperous area, with millions of Australians choosing the freedom of the bush over the crowded, fast-paced city life. Recently however, many people have chosen to walk off the land and move to the cities, leaving very few remaining rural residents to grapple with the strain of such an isolated and arduous existence.
This series documents the demise of my hometown, and depicts the blue-collar people living lives of quiet desperation, portraying everyday struggle and ordinary tragedy, as they feel their way in the dark, hoping that things will get better. The extensive rural-to-urban migration has left small regional communities seemingly stuck in a downward spiral of declining public services, social infrastructure, and commercial facilities, as residents continue to relocate to larger population centres where there is the greater availability of employment, education and training opportunities, and social services.
Exploring the disintegration of regional communities in Australia as a result of the unprecedented increase in rural-to-urban migration, this series documents the present state of my hometown, Quairading, in rural Western Australia, and investigates the relationship between the identity of the town’s remaining residents, and the fracturing demise of their community’s landscape. Through capturing the underlying vernacular aesthetics of regional Australia, I document the merge between natural and man-made spaces and objects birthed from an isolated agricultural town in decay, and give emphasis to the unobserved details that produce the stark contrast between rural and urban civilisations.
Just East of Now chronicles the emotional, social, and economic toll of the mass migrations on these once-thriving rural and remote Australian civilisations, as they continue to be pushed to the precipice of extinction.
Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers is the region's main platform for discovering and showcasing photographers at the outset of their careers and aspiring photographers. The competition is open to emerging, student, and amateur photographers. The prize pool currently stands at over $30,000.
Final entries close 21 February at 11:59pm (AEDT).