1934 • Cake

Audrey is at work. She’s working in the rather grand cake shop at the front of the Australia Hotel in Melbourne. A march of the unemployed is passing. A procession largely silent, they pass down Collins Street. [RED, page 3]

Processions through Melbourne streets by the unemployed, organised by the Communist Party and other groups, were frequent events in the 1930s. This image is of the May Day march, 1932.

1932maydayFull

These people are passing the Old Vienna Inn, so they are in Russell Street, heading south, crossing Bourke Street. Children with their fathers, respectable in suits and ties, a student holds one steadying cord to Marx’s image, and a plump boy in shorts holds the other. Between them wavers Marx himself, quizzical, one eyebrow raised, a boyar’s face right out of Eisenstein. These banners were painted by Noel Counihan and Adrienne Parkes. (Noel Counihan, “Rough Notes for Memoirs”, Noel Counihan Papers, ms  9107, National Library of Australia, p. 40)