Executive Producer: Emma Lancaster
Host: Tamson Pietsch
Sydney’s iconic Opera House plays host to musicians and dancers, actors and singers. But beneath the notes of their voices, another song echoes across the city’s waters.
Indigenous Eora fisherwomen passed down their knowledge through their songs while paddling their canoes, a cooking fire at one end and their kids on their shoulders.
Anna Clark and Tamson go looking for the fisherwomen’s world, and discover that, if you listen closely, the past of Sydney Harbour still sings.
In the middle of a mining town in outback Australia, over 400 kilometres from the closest ocean, stands a monument dedicated to the memory of the Titanic.
On the surface the story of Broken Hill’s Titanic Memorial can be seen as a simple tale of memory and humanity, one community expressing their sympathy for another.
But on closer inspection, the politics of memory starts to unravel and raises questions about the power of remembering and why we do it in the first place.
Quietly buried away in Western Sydney’s state archives is a secret history of love.
Lists of lingerie, love letters and lockets of hair, are stapled to writs from over 200 years ago.
In the 19th century a broken engagement could damn a woman for life. But scorned women had an unexpected way to get square.
A now somewhat forgotten law known as ‘breach of promise to marry’ saw women awarded massive damages after being left jilted at the altar.
But why would the courts be interested in the failed love lives of working class people? And what does a convict’s daughter, a barrister and a former Prime Minister have to do with it?
In this episode of History Lab we sift through the historical remains to discover litigious lovers, colonial love triangles and the emergence of medicalised heartbreak on a quest to understand the history of love.