Illuminated by Fire

Illuminated by Fire

As part of Illuminated by Fire, filmmaker and social historian Malcolm McKinnon has produced a series of short films that aim to stimulate historical learning for individuals, for local communities and for government.

The films tell a range of genuinely illuminating stories about difficult truths associated with living in some of the most fire-prone places on the planet. As well, they seek to challenge the recurrent amnesia that creates an element of “predictable surprise” in our response to bushfires.

These little films aim to reveal a wealth of knowledge, experience and imagination that needs to become more commonly held.

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Image of Malcolm  McKinnon

Malcolm McKinnon is an Australian artist and filmmaker working mainly in rural communities. Over the past 15 years, his work has encompassed oral history, urban planning, public and community art projects, critical writing and exhibitions. His current practice is mainly focused around documentary filmmaking and social history, motivated by an appreciation of living memory and local vernacular.

Image of Films

Films by Malcolm McKinnon

Firing the Orchid

1st September 2010

Andrew Pritchard first encountered the rare Mellblom’s Spider Orchid when he was a boy, growing up in Portland in south-west Victoria. Now, many years later, his work for the Department of Sustainability & Environment has involved a long-term study of the orchid and work to bring it back from the brink of extinction. Here, Andrew describes the peculiar ecological niche of the Spider Orchid and explains how summer fire is a critical factor in its survival.


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