Clayton Wasteland I

FILM: KODAK EXTRA COLOR ELITE CHROME 100 & KODAK PORTRA 800

CAMERA: FUJIFILM KLASSE W

 

I WENT FOR A WALK AROUND CLAYTON LAST WEEK TO SHOOT SOME FLICKS AND SEE WHAT I WOULD COME ACROSS... IT WAS PRETTY QUIET THAT DAY AND BROUGHT UP ALOT OF MEMORIES.

CLAYTON, FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW, IS A SUBURB IN THE SOUTH-EAST OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. IT'S ABOUT 19KM FROM THE CITY CENTER (CBD) OF MELBOURNE AND IT'S POPULATION (AS OF 2011) WAS ABOUT 15,000. IT'S MOST WELL KNOWN AS BEING A CITY OF SCIENCE, WHICH IS HOME TO TOP UNIVERSITY, 'MONASH UNIVERSITY', MONASH MEDICAL CENTRE, THE AUSTRALIAN SYNCHROTRON AND WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER SCIENCE AND TECH INSTITUTIONS. IT'S A PRETTY WORKING CLASS SUBURB WHOSE LANDSCAPE IS CONTRADICTING AS IT'S SURROUNDED BY JUST AS MANY LAND FILLS, FACTORIES, INDUSTRIAL PARKS AS IT IS WETLANDS AND PARKLANDS. IT'S ALSO THE MOST MULTICULTURAL ELECTORATE IN THE STATE. MORE THAN HALF OF THE POPULATION WAS BORN OVERSEAS AND MORE THAN 60% OF FAMILIES SPEAK A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH AT HOME. IT'S PRETTY MUCH GUARANTEED YOU WON'T SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE AS YOUR NEIGHBOUR OR AT THE VERY LEAST, A FEW FAMILIES ON YOUR STREET. 

BEFORE I MOVED TO AUSTRALIA WHEN I WAS 15, MY GRANDPARENTS (MOTHER'S SIDE), MOST OF MY AUNTIES AND UNCLES AND FAMILY FRIENDS LIVED IN CLAYTON OR WITHIN A 2 OR 3 SUBURB RADIUS. WHILE CONSTANTLY MOVING TO DIFFERENT CITIES, CHANGING SCHOOLS AND APARTMENTS DURING MY CHILDHOOD, THE ONE THING THAT DIDN'T CHANGE WAS MY 'HOME' IN CLAYTON. EVERY YEAR I CAME TO MELBOURNE DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS FOR 1-3 MONTHS AND EITHER STAYED AT MY GRANDMA'S HOUSE OR MY AUNTIE'S HOUSE IN CLAYTON. WHEN I MOVED TO MELBOURNE, I WENT TO BOARDING SCHOOL DURING THE WEEK BUT EVERY WEEKEND AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS I LIVED AT MY SISTER'S HOUSE IN CLAYTON SOUTH.

DURING THE 90'S AND EARLY 00'S IT WAS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE 'ROUGHER' AREAS IN MELBOURNE AND I DID ALOT OF 'GROWING UP' AND LEARNING IN CLAYTON. THINKING ABOUT IT...BEING A CONFUSED THIRD CULTURE KID, CLAYTON WAS THE PERFECT SUBURB FOR ME. EVERYONE WAS DIFFERENT, EVERYONE SPOKE A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE, EVERYONE HAD A DIFFERENT CULTURE AND WE WERE ALL COOL WITH IT. I WAS ACCEPTED WITHOUT HAVING TO TRY. BACK IN THE DAYS OF 'GANGS' AND 'CREWS', OURS WAS EVEN CALLED "ALL NATION CREW (ANC)" BECAUSE WE WERE JUST THAT...WE WERE FROM ALL NATIONS! WE JUST ALL BONDED OVER MUSIC, WEED, GIRLS AND TYPICAL TEENAGE BOY SHIT.

EVEN THOUGH I DON'T LIVE THERE ANYMORE, I STILL CONSIDER IT MY HOME IN MELBOURNE AND RESPOND PROUDLY BY SAYING 'CLAYTON' WHEN IM ASKED WHAT SUBURB IM FROM. AS LIFE PROGRESSED, ALOT OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS LEFT CLAYTON BUT ONE OF MY AUNTIES AND MY COUSINS STILL LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE I KNEW AS A KID. IT WILL ALWAYS BE MY 'HOME BASE' HERE IN MELBOURNE AND CLAYTON WILL ALWAYS BE "THE AREAS".