shhh!… was a 3 screen projection by jacques soddell & maree mclachlan (maree tonkin) presented at Allan's Walk Artist Run Space in 2006 as part of s.edition (s for silence). shhh!… uses photos, video, words and sound to explore the silence of the masses (the silent majority). This 3 screen projection (6min 20 secs long) is built around an image by Maree McLachlan of Melbourne peace activist, Reta Kaur, who is not afraid to speak out, plus other images of protest by Maree McLachlan. The sounds in the middle section of the projection are derived from Reta’s voice saying “lest we forget means no more wars”. The flame is the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remebrance.
Reta Kaur was born in Malaysia and came to Australia in 1980. She teachers English to migrants and refugees and also runs an employment training program at a Melbourne, TAFE. She is the co-founder of Women for Peace an organisation formed in 2001 to register distress and protest against war. Women for Peace work closely with the Victorian Peace Network and participate in peace actions and organise women’s street actions. http://www.womenforpeace.org.au
“In Australia I have worked with the waves of broken people who come from war torn countries, and thus have experience of the ugliness of war. I'm happy in Australia, but feel more like a world citizen operating within many cultures.” Reta Kaur
On 11 Nov 2003 Reta Kaur was arrested at the Shrine of Remembrance while making a peaceful protest against war. She has been charged with trespass. The case was heard at the Melbourne Magistrate's Court. She was found guilty.