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Peter Pomarantsev: Putin’s Lack of Knowledge of the Ukrainian People. Article excerpts fromThe Economist. April 11, 2022

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Financial Review, Metaphor Images, Metaphor Online, Russian War in Ukraine , comments closed

“I was born in Kyiv in 1977 to Ukrainian parents. My family was exiled from the Soviet Union when I was nine months old, after my father, a poet, was arrested by the KGB for the heinous crime of distributing copies of books by Solzhenitsyn and Nabokov to friends.” Peter Pomarantsev THE ECONOMIST.

Australian Activist in Indépendance Square MAIDAN Photo Bohdan Warchomij

We all have stories and sometimes fantasies of our connection with Ukraine. My parents met in Berlin post WWII and made love and produced children in displaced persons’ camps and then applied for refuge in USA, Argentina and Australia. They lost children on the way to Australia. Ihor in childbirth in Berlin and Maria, my two year old sister on the ANA SALEN en route to Melbourne Australia. My parents jumped ship in Perth because Maria was buried in Karrakatta and my mother couldn’t bare the thought of separation from her child. So we grew up in Perth, Bohdan, a new Ihor, Ostap and finally Jaroslava, a girl to succeed Maria. I learnt Ukrainian, and Polish from my neighbours and had never heard a word of English before heading to the primary school in Morley where we lived on an acre of land. I heard my father’s version of Ukrainian history and his personal story. He fought with the Polish Army against the Germans on horseback and spent time in a POW camp before being sent to fight the Russians with the  Ukrainian Nightingale Division on the Russian Front. A bullet wound repatriated him to the relative safety of post World War Berlin and he met my mother there. Nationalism and politics was a driving force  in his life and I lived in his shadow and his knowledge of the repressors of the Ukrainian nation. The Moskaly or Muscovites received a bad rap from my father and I studied English at University and listened to the music of Ukrainian national musician Volodymyr Ivasiuk and his famous song Chervona Ruta and the poet Vasyl Symonenko (Ukrainian: Василь Андрійович Симоненко; January 8, 1935 – December 13, 1963) was a well-known Ukrainian poet, journalist, activist of the dissident movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Ukrainian literature of the early 1960s. His membership of the dissident movement influenced me and no doubt many young Ukrainians who coped with the repression of the Russian Soviet Leadership until it became part of their DNA. The first sniff of Ukrainian Independence in the 1990′s was a revelation and I travelled to Ukraine and around the country in a friend’s Lada exploring my heritage and coming to terms with the novelty of Ukrainian freedom, something I thought I would never see in my lifetime. I have been back many times, documenting the Orange Revolution in 2004, Chornobyl Nuclear Reactor in 2007, the death of all aboard Malaysia’s airliner MH17 in 2014 near Torres in the Donbas and like the rest of the world witnessing an immoral war from a war criminal hiding in a bunker in Moscow.

Ukrainian Demonstration

I am dismayed by this blatant misreading of the Ukrainian nation by Putin and am including part of Pomarantsev’s story from the reading in The Economist to balance the rhetoric and the evil propaganda coming from the Kremlin where Putin has ensconced himself with a fake rendition of Ukrainian history and a poor understanding of the history of his own nation. Ignorance they say is bliss and Putin’s ignorance is supreme.

Illustration: Noma Bar

PETER POMARANTSEV:

“It’s easy to see why Ukraine confuses people. To the uninformed outsider, it confounds all ideas of what makes a nation. Most people are casually bilingual. It contains many histories simultaneously: the Russian, Soviet and Austro-Hungarian empires, Poland, Romania and, of course, Ukraine itself. This lattice of historical narratives has made many in the West feel as though the country is not quite real.

Now people are more clued up. The world has found its hero nation. Its Jewish president, a one-time comedian who matured into a younger, more empathetic Churchill. The elderly women taunting Russian soldiers. The hipsters picking up machine guns. The distraught yet articulate mothers with their sparkling children sheltering underground. The beauty blogger on Instagram bombed in a maternity ward.

Ukrainians have reminded us what freedom means – a word that for many in rich democracies had long ago curdled into platitudes. The resilience of the population has impressed the West and surprised the Kremlin. It shouldn’t have. For the past few years I’ve been trying to unlock the secret of Ukrainian identity by talking to Ukrainians. Through my research project, Arena, based originally at the lse and now at Johns Hopkins University, I’ve worked with Ukrainian journalists and sociologists to find ways of strengthening democracy. My team has interviewed thousands of adults across the country. Our fieldwork shows that the response to Russia’s invasion has deep roots in Ukrainian history.

Bucha genocide Daniel Berehuliak for the NYT

I was born in Kyiv in 1977 to Ukrainian parents. My family was exiled from the Soviet Union when I was nine months old, after my father, a poet, was arrested by the kgb for the heinous crime of distributing copies of books by Solzhenitsyn and Nabokov to friends.

Yet I never thought of myself as particularly Ukrainian. I grew up in London speaking Russian and was regarded as “the Russian” by my schoolmates. I first visited Ukraine when I was 18, and I was astounded: the sweeping Soviet avenues backing into hills with wild woods; the smells of beer and pyrizhky (stuffed buns) wafting between pastel-coloured, art-nouveau apartment blocks; the river so broad it feels almost like a sea. Kyiv is a city of shrugs that never takes itself too seriously. It is made for strolling through and kissing in. People switch languages so rhythmically your ears are lulled by sing-song waves of Russian and Ukrainian. When I visited in the fourth week of the war, the city was empty. The tension was occasionally torn by the scream of sirens. But it was more beautiful than ever. The elegant buildings were easier to see in absence of people and cars, and the threat of imminent destruction made the streets seem all the more precious.

In 2014 Putin’s forces invaded and occupied the country’s easternmost fringe, after the Maidan unseated as president his kleptocratic ally Viktor Yanukovych. Putin claimed that he was defending ethnic Russians. It felt like an attack not just on my friends, family and a country I had been getting to know, but also on a cosmopolitan way of living and thinking.

My work turned towards Ukraine and the Kremlin’s information war. The Russian government’s aim was to divide and weaken the country in order, it now seems clear, to prepare the ground for invasion. Russian state media, online troll farms and, perhaps most perniciously, the gaggle of immensely rich pro-Russian oligarchs combined to undermine democratic reforms, smear the West and fracture Ukraine’s sense of unity.

As we were pursuing our research, through polling, focus groups and in-depth interviews, the Kremlin’s secret services were conducting theirs, looking for Ukraine’s vulnerabilities. We always felt like we were in a race to understand Ukrainians better. Our team started by trying to understand their attitudes to history. To validate his invasions, Putin has called the Ukrainian government “Nazis” and described the invasion as an act of “denazification”. The slur is absurd but also strategic. Some prominent Ukrainian nationalists sided with the Nazis in the second world war because they thought Hitler would grant Ukraine independence; a number of them were comfortable with the Nazis’ anti-Semitism. When Hitler betrayed them, many turned on the Germans and fought against both them and the Soviet Union. In Soviet post-war propaganda, Ukrainian nationalists were caricatured as the fascist enemy of the good Soviet citizen. Anyone who grew up steeped in that milieu is receptive to this framing.

 

Illustration Noma Bar

Putin and his supporters have tried to split the country between a supposed pro-Soviet east and pro-nationalist west. However, our polling found this split to be a mirage. There were at least four distinct groups. The Ukrainians who were most pro-Soviet were older, often pensioners, and less educated, living largely in rural areas in the south and east of the country. A tiny proportion of the population, less than 5%, approved of Stalin (the equivalent figure in Russia is 70%). The memory of the Holodomor, Stalin’s man-made famine which killed roughly 4m Ukrainians in 1932-33, still burns.

Another group was younger and better educated, and lived in large cities in the south and east such as Odessa and Kharkiv. The attitude of these people to the Soviet Union was more nuanced. Although they were critical of its repression, they tended to be nostalgic for the supposed social “values” of the communist past and harboured negative attitudes towards Ukrainian nationalists who fought against the Red Army in the second world war.

The group that most disliked the Soviet Union were the educated middle classes in cities in central and western Ukraine. Comprising a third of the population, these people were more likely to admire Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in the second world war who first sided with the Nazis and then fell out with them.

Bandera is, to put it mildly, a complex figure. He was inspired by Italian fascism but spent most of the war imprisoned by the Nazis. Many of his supporters during the second world war were ardent anti-Semites. Paradoxically we found that today, liberals who believed that anyone could be Ukrainian regardless of their background thought of him in the most positive light. They admired him for standing up to the tyrants of Moscow, rather than for his ethno-nationalist beliefs.

The splits were typical of the divide between liberal cities and the socially conservative countryside found in many European countries – but they did not equate to political preferences. The vast majority of people across Ukraine had a similar vision of the future: they wanted a culture of inclusive nationalism within the European Union.

When we put Soviet nostalgics in a room with Ukrainian patriots, there were plenty of disagreements over whether it was right to tear down Soviet-era statues or whether Bandera was an admirable figure. Yet we also found that people were quick to accommodate each other’s perspectives. “If someone needs a statue of Bandera, let them have one,” a woman from eastern Ukraine told us.

 

Ukrainians are not just fighting against this invasion, but all the other times their country has been violated

Both groups seemed aware that politicians were always trying to split the country and were wary of being manipulated. “There is no separation, we are united. We are just separated by an information war,” said one contributor. We held our focus groups just after Volodymyr Zelensky was elected in April 2019: he drew on dissatisfaction with the politics of polarisation to win a resounding 70% of the vote. His tv career evoked Soviet-era acting styles and comedy references, but he had a capitalist appreciation for entrepreneurship. During the campaign, Zelensky was accused by opponents of being ideologically vague and reluctant to talk about history. Perhaps this was part of his attraction: he embodied a profound Ukrainian tradition of knowing how to get along with people whose story differs from your own.

Our research showed that Ukraine had a culture of live and let live. The supposedly pro-Russian cities of Kharkiv and Odessa pride themselves on their cosmopolitanism. In the west, apparently nationalist cities such as Lviv have always echoed with a cacophony of tongues and churches. Ukrainians are accustomed to switching between codes and languages. They are united by knowledge of their differences.

When we began talking about more recent history, disagreements about statues of Lenin and second-world-war partisans rapidly melted away. Participants tried to find the words to describe life in the late Soviet period: their experiences of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl; memories of seeing relatives sent off to war in Afghanistan; the economic deprivation and confusion of the 1990s. The struggle to make sense of these events was hard, because people often avoided discussing them. “My family hasn’t talked about it [the Soviet period] at all,” one participant admitted. People would sometimes switch to the passive as they spoke, a sign of how little agency they felt about their country’s recent history, using such phrases as “when independence happened to us”.

Ukrainians have been oppressed by the Habsburgs, the Russian Empire, the Poles, the Nazis and the Soviet Union. Even Czechoslovakia once snaffled a slice of western Ukraine. Ukrainian oligarchs have acted like another set of exploitative colonisers since independence in 1991. In the 20th century alone, some 14m people are believed to have been killed in Ukraine through purges, famine and the Holocaust. Timothy Snyder, a historian, calls this region the “Bloodlands”. The term “genocide” was invented by a lawyer from Lviv.

“The Ukrainian choice is the choice between a non-existence and an existence that kills you”, wrote Oksana Zabuzhko in “Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex” (1996), a novel about how trauma is passed down from generation to generation. The protagonist is a Ukrainian writer caught in an abusive love affair. “We were raised by men fucked from all ends every which way,” she writes. This, in turn, leads to a pattern of abusive relationships where self-loathing men take their anger out on women. It’s an allegorical work: the couple’s relationship represents a country where the history of oppression permeates everything from art to relationships.

National myths coalesce around a collective: the Cossacks, bands of self-governing warriors who roamed the steppe

That history of violence and humiliation has led Ukrainians to think conspiratorially. Over two-thirds of people we talked to for our study reckoned that “secret organisations” greatly influence political decisions. Such attitudes are understandable but damaging. Even in the days leading up to February 24th, many members of the Ukrainian elite thought that American warnings of an imminent Russian invasion were secretly a means to push the country into making concessions. They didn’t take Putin’s intentions seriously until the last minute.

Because rulers have historically been colonising powers, Ukrainians have little trust in government. Zelenksy’s popularity began to drain from the moment he came to power (before the war his approval rating was just 30%). This lack of respect for authority means that Ukrainians can energetically overthrow rulers, as they did in 2004 and 2014. But it also makes it hard to build an effective bureaucracy. The state is seen as something that needs to be avoided or that can be used for personal gain. Corruption is the grease that makes things work. Courts are captured by anyone who can pay. This attitude infuriates reformers and western donors like the eu. Even when the government does manage to build new infrastructure, people talk about these achievements as though they happened almost magically. Ukrainians simply can’t conceive of the state doing anything successfully.

The Russian secret services seem to have thought this mindset was a fatal weakness: according to the Royal United Services Institute, a British think-tank, the Kremlin based its invasion plans on surveys that predicted Ukrainian support for the government would collapse after an invasion. But there is a flipside to all this distrust. People have learnt to rely on each other. Ukrainians pride themselves on resilience and cunning. They have always found ways to self-organise. Trust in civil society, in local churches and small-business associations is high. There are also less savoury associations: football hooligans, petty gangsters and far-right militias who formed regiments to fight in the Donbas after 2014. Calamity has forced people to club together. “Disaster and grief unite us,” people would say when we asked. Many of our interviewees spoke about how, in 2014, activists took it upon themselves to feed, clothe and provide transport for Ukraine’s decrepit army.

Ukrainian myths of national identity coalesce around a collective: the Cossacks, bands of self-governing warriors who roamed the steppe. A recent successful film told the story of how Ukrainian Jews and Crimean Tatars created underground networks to help each other in the second world war, to fight first the Nazis and then the kgb. One of the most popular Christmas films in Ukraine is “Home Alone”, which has a narrative that resonates with Ukraine’s story: a small country abandoned by the world’s parents, always attacked by bigger powers and having to improvise self-defence with anything that comes to hand.

In this war, Ukrainians are showing that they can resist one of their most frequent and violent abusers, the Kremlin. Among the friends I speak to there’s a sense that they are fighting not just against this invasion, but for all the other times Ukraine has been violated. Putin himself referred to the invasion as a rape: “You sleep my beauty, you’re going to have to put up with it anyway,” he told a stunned press pack during a session with the French president, Emmanuel Macron. In Lviv today you see posters of a woman in Ukrainian folk costume pushing a gun into Putin’s mouth: “I’m not your beauty,” she says.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij MAIDAN

 

We presented our latest research in Kyiv on Wednesday February 23rd. I joined over Zoom, and saw the sense of dread and anger settle over the room of bright young things. The next day the Russian tanks rolled in, scattering our team. Some have become temporary refugees. The journalists are reporting from the front lines. Others have taken up arms. Denys Kobzyn, our lead sociologist in Kharkiv, sent me a selfie with a machine gun draped over his shoulder.

Our work hasn’t stopped. We’re planning a multimedia oral-history project, to record people’s testimony of the bombings, the rape of women and the attacks on refugees, so that when the cameras leave we can still help Ukrainians to tell their story – in war-crimes tribunals, in films and plays, in books and exhibitions.

A curious answer emerged from our research last year about “what unites Ukrainians”. When we asked people when they felt most proud to be Ukrainian, they almost always remembered a moment of international recognition when they felt that Ukraine had been noticed. Often these were tiny things: a Ukrainian child winning an international maths competition; a foreigner mentioning to them on holiday that they knew where Ukraine was.

At the time I thought this yearning was essentially about identity, a desire to be known. In Zabuzhko’s “Fieldwork of Ukrainian Sex”, the heroine travels from one international literary seminar to the next, impelled to prove that Ukrainian is a living language, and exhausted by the need to constantly answer the question “Ukraine? Where’s that?” Now I realise this desire to be seen is not just about identity; it’s also about security. Being seen by the world means that there is less chance that you will get killed. ■

Peter Pomerantsev directs the Arena project at Johns Hopkins University and is the author of “This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality”. You can read the rest of 1843 magazine’s coverage of the war, here

Ukrainian Graphic

illustrations: noma bar

 

Humanitarian Fund Raiser for Ukraine Perth Concert Hall 27 3 2022 Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 28, 2022

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Rob Cowell

 

 

Tony Lennon addresses the Concert Hall audience

The Humanitarian Fund Raiser for Ukraine Perth Concert Hall 27 3 2022 organised by Rob Cowell and Irina Buesvska-Cowell with sponsorship from Tony Lennon and his wife Gwyneth and supported by media stories in the West Australian and the Subiaco Post was well attended by Perth music aficionados on a gloomy Perth afternoon. Sitting in the Hall with musicians on stage responding to a Peace initiative by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with refugees in attendance from Ukraine, with young children performing at such a significant event, made one understand the consequences of war and the impact of politicians without moral parameters on the world we live in.

An 18 metre by 12 metre Ukrainian flag unveiled at Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach and donated by Sculpture’s founder David Handley to Perth’s Ukrainian Association was suspended at the concert hall above the stage behind the performers.

Irina Buevska-Cowell’s 92 year old grandmother is trapped in a eighth floor Kharkiv apartment building, enduring the relentless bombing on a historic city that once was the capital of Ukraine and is now a target for total destruction. Irina graduated from the Kharkiv State Conservatorium of Music before continuing her studies at UWA in 2003. In the week leading up to the concert she found out that the Karkhiv Conservatorium had been bombed, with decades of history destroyed by a Russian bomb. Her grandmother is also in continuing danger from the ongoing attack on civilians throughout  Ukraine.

Akiko Miyazawa Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Ashley Smith Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Anna Bogachova Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Concert for Ukraine featured singers Ashly Skye (member of Opera Australia) and Penny Shaw, violinist Akiko Miyazawa, cellist Michael Goldschlager, clarinetist Ashley Smith, and pianists Anna Bogachova and Anna Sleptsova. Ensemble music featured as well with Irina Buevska-Cowell performing with her children on violin and cello and a quartet of young girls performing a piece from the Erl King.

Photos Bohdan Warchomij

Front Pages from the Ukrainian Front February 25, 2022

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PARIAH STATE: RUSSIA CONDEMNED February 25, 2022

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council will vote Friday on a resolution that would condemn Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine “in the strongest terms.” It also would demand an immediate halt to Russia’s invasion and the withdrawal of all Russian troops. This inexplicable act of war and terrorism by Russian fascism needs condemnation at the highest level. It is a war on an innocent country, innocent children, and innocent people.
A senior U.S. official says the Biden administration knows the measure will be vetoed by Russia, but believes it is very important to put the resolution to a vote to underscore Russia’s international isolation.
The official says the council vote will be followed by a resolution voted on quickly in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly where there are no vetoes.
The final draft resolution, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, would reaffirm the council’s commitment “to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

Happy New Year to the World from Sydney January 1, 2022

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Happy New Year to the world. It is a time for healing and a time for wonder and optimism to take the place of pain and pessimism.
Sydney is the first city in the world to welcome the new year, so expectations are high. In past years over 1.6 million people have traveled to the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House to watch the $7.2 million extravaganza. The fireworks start for kids at 9 p.m. with the winner of the Design Your Own Firework competition displayed. And at midnight a giant explosion of color, light, and music transforms up the entire harbor into one big party.

Rio de Janeiro joins in to celebrate.

The Most Important Story of the Year BLACK LIVES MATTER Photos Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images 2020 December 21, 2020

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It is a difficult question to deal with in the year that was in many ways centred on a virus. Covid 19 has impacted on the world in so many ways, socially, economically, medically, politically and emotionally.

 

In a similar vein to the Berlin Wall protests in 1989, Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963 and the Women’s March in 2017, 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests are historic and will hopefully continue to inspire change.

At George Floyd’s funeral on June 9, his brother Rodney told mourners: ‘Everybody is going to remember him around the world. He is going to change the world.’

Undoubtedly, the 47-year-old’s death has marked the beginning of a global call for action. He has started a movement that is changing our world for the better.

From London to New York to Perth the impact of his death has triggered an outpouring of racial empathy that has struck a chord with the world and the human race.

Humanity, and that is our essence,  will continue to benefit from our new consciousness.

The photos of the Perth protest tell the story of our commitment in 2020.

NO WORDS NECESSARY PERTH 2020 PHOTOS BOHDAN WARCHOMIJ METAPHOR IMAGES June 14, 2020

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Good News for Australian Journalism: AAP is back! June 7, 2020

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AAP’s board confirmed on Friday that a deal is in its last stages of negotiation with a consortium of investors and philanthropists led by former Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh.

The sale relates to the newswire of AAP which reports on general news, courts, politics, finance and sport, as well as images and video. The other parts of AAP such as Medianet, Mediaverse and AAP Directories will be held by current shareholders and will operate as usual. The FactCheck service will also continue.

AAP DALAI LAMA PERTH PHOTO BOHDAN WARCHOMIJ/METAPHOR IMAGES

AAP – which is currently owned by Australian Community Media, Nine, News Corp Australia and The West Australian – was set to close on June 26 as it struggled to survive in a changing marketplace.

Its closure would have meant losing up to 500 jobs and an end to an 85-year long history of covering major news stories.

“I am pleased that, after months of discussions with various parties, it appears we have been able to secure a new home for AAP’s legacy of trusted news,” AAP CEO Bruce Davidson said in a statement.

In a statement, Tonagh highlighted the consortium’s commitment to independent journalism.

“We live in a time where trusted, unbiased news is more important than ever. AAP has always delivered on that and we are committed to seeing that continue into the future,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the AAP team to continue its great work and to find new commercial opportunities to ensure its long-term survival.”

With the consortium on board, the new AAP will take on 85-90 employees, with up to 75 of them in editorial roles as well as management, IT and support staff. A number of jobs are expected to be lost, as the newly focused project will not employ the same number of journalists, photographers and producers.

Editor in Chief Tony Gillies considered this news a win for public interest journalism.

“In the 95 days since the original March 3 closure announcement our journalists, photographers and editors have endured the anxiety of an uncertain future and the difficulties of the Covid-19 lockdown,” he said in a statement. “And yet, they have been professional without exception, working as hard as ever.

“Their poise and resilience has been inspiring. The consortium is taking on Australia’s best.”

REPORT FROM BUSINESS INSIDER

Wedge Island: On the Edge of the Turquoise Coast Photos Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images June 3, 2020

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Arriving on Wedge Island immediately gifts one a release from the stress of city life, and a feeling of being close to simplicity and nature. The beauty of the aquamarine waters and a sense of freedom immediately overwhelm one on arrival.

Wedge Island inundated by settlers on West Australia Day Weekend Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Trapped on the edge of the beach as a storm rolled in from the Indian Ocean while photographing a shack under attack by the storm I was drenched by a hailstorm and pounding rain.

A shack in danger of slipping into the ocean Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

A storm pounds the shacks at Wedge Island Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Wedge Island is a settlement located north of Lancelin and south of Cervantes on the Western Australian coast. It is approximately 140 km north-west of Perth.

The name mainly refers to the mainland settlement but also refers to a 400-metre (1,300 ft) long wedge shaped island located just south of “the point”. The settlement of Grey is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north-west. Both are within the Shire of Dandaragan.

The island occupies an area 4.03 hectares (9.96 acres) and is situated 200 metres (656 ft) from the mainland. The island has a maximum elevation of 21 m (69 ft).

It lies within the Turquoise Coast islands nature reserve group, a chain of 40 islands spread over a distance of 150 kilometres (93 mi) from north to south.

Wedge Island was named after government surveyor Charles Wedge, in 1875 by Staff-Commander William Edwin Archdeacon R.N., who was in charge of the Admiralty survey of the coast of Western Australia.

A settler on Wedge Island Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

The settlement is now home to approximately 350 beach shacks on unvested land that are used by crayfishermen and holiday-goers. A new sealed road, Indian Ocean Drive was opened in September 2010 which provides 2WD access to Wedge. There are claims that this has changed the local environment. The road, intended to promote tourism is well known for a number of serious vehicle crashes since it opened.

Wedge can also be accessed in a 4WD vehicle, via the beach if the tide is out.

The nursing post of Anne McGuiness

It is also a place of danger to the uninitiated and inexperienced. The thudding of the RAC Rescue Helicopter low over the settlement immediately unsettled people with a sense of trepidation on Saturday night. Normally the chopper lands near the resident nurses post but because the accident happened in the dunes it continued North of the township and landed on the beach to collect a young man thrown from a vehicle who sustained spinal injuries.

The RAC Rescue Helicopter transfers a patient to Royal Perth Hospital Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

 

Extreme Weather in Perth Photos Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images May 24, 2020

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Tom Walker, who has surfed the WA coast and international waves his entire 22 years of life, said that while there will be places to get waves as the storm brews, even the most experienced surfers may want to reconsider heading out in coming days.

Web Photo Bohdan Warchomij

From Sunday, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts the highest waves will be up to seven metres high along the Gascoyne to Geraldton coast before the South West gets hit with waves up to 10 metres by Monday morning.

Tom, whose father taught him to surf before he could even walk, on Sunday said the conditions were good in Margaret River where he lives and there’d be some “fun waves” to catch but conditions were going to dangerously change.

“Right now the swells picking up throughout the day … there’s going to be fun waves around where I live but it’s going to get way gnarlier as the day goes on,” he said.

“There will be places to get waves but for the most part this whole coastline is going to get hammered and no one should be out. When it does hit eight metres, that’s nuts, it’s very dangerous.”

Web Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Tom said with the “hectic” gusty winds, people should not be fishing off rocks either because they could get swept out to sea and there was a much higher probability of flash rips.

The former Perth local also warned people that places like Cottesloe would even be “really dangerous” over the coming days.