"Walk with humility and a good heart...do that, and you can walk anywhere in this land."
- Uncle John Long, Ugarapul Elder
Walking out the door on a winter’s morning in 2019, author Benjamin Allmon and photographer Carin Garland are about to discover just how far the road - the black & white braid - will take them. For the next 30 days and nearly 700km, they roam across Queensland’s Scenic Rim on foot, learning the stories of the roads they follow; who they are named after, who walked them first...and who walks them now.
In this microcosm of Australia, they uncover the past and discover the present alongside Indigenous Elders trying to secure Lore in the next generation; 4th-generation farmers at breaking point in the worst drought on record; proud South Sea Islander descendants of Queensland’s first “blackbirded” workers seeking to have their voices heard; incredible women and men who banded together during the devastating Black Summer bushfires to save their community; sisterstrying to save their town from extinction, and many more.
From farmer-preachers in Australia’s Bible Belt to environmentalists trying to preserve prehistoric wilderness, young mothers to 102-year-old great-great-grandmothers, traditional custodians to recent immigrants, Benjamin and Carin discover how we are all connected - by the roads that brought us here, by the roads we travel every day through this country we share...and then ask: where is the road leading?
The Black & White Braid (Cairn Tor 2021), is a fully-illustrated hardcover collaboration with photographer Carin Garland, and is supported by The Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and Scenic Rim Regional Council through the RADF PRogram.