Jake Nowakowski. The culmination of four years documenting violent race rallies in Melbourne.
Neo Pride is the culmination of four years documenting violent race rallies in Melbourne. The rise of far-right/anti-immigration groups in Melbourne began to proliferate in 2014 as anti-Islamic sentiment, and a move towards alt-right politics swept through the world. As far-right groups in Melbourne started to mobilise by staging rallies to spread their message of hate, they were met by an enthusiastic opposition of protesters comprised of university groups and anti-racism campaigners. The opposition also contained members of the often violent and reactionary group ANTIFA – a militant anti-fascist group associated with Melbourne’s Anarchist community. The stage was set, and the combination of staunch views on both sides led to rallies which were often marred by violence. Police at first struggled to contain the chaos but eventually developed tactics which allowed them to keep the two sides separate.
This gritty period in Melbourne’s history has, at least for now, largely passed. Many, if not all, the far-right groups have gone to ground. Not only have they been shut down on social media platforms, but they have also come to the attention of the Australian Federal Police, and as a result, they no longer hold rallies or take part in public displays.
After leaving a career as a graphic designer to become a photographer in 2003, Jake found himself freelancing in Iraq in the aftermath of the American-led invasion. After returning to Australia and working as a freelancer Jake accepted a role as a staff photographer at the North Star in Mount Isa in 2007 before accepting a position at The Cairns Post in 2008. A move back to Melbourne in 2011 saw Jake take on freelance duties for both the Herald Sun and The Australian newspapers before accepting a full time staff position at the Herald Sun in 2013.
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