‘No Dams’ – 25 years of environmental stickers

No. 72

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Bumper stickers offer a window into late twentieth century Tasmanian political, environmental and social history. This ordinary bedroom door – from the Trousselot family’s Tasmanian home – features rare stickers from the campaign against the Gordon-below-Franklin dam in the early 1980s, right through to the social, political and environmental campaigns of the late 1990s.

The 1980s and 1990s were years of political and social turmoil in Tasmania. The rise of the environmental movement as a powerful political force created intense tensions that remain strong today. The movement embraced bumper stickers as one way of promoting its message.

The Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s green ‘No Dams’ triangle – by Hobart designer, Gordon Harrison-Williams – became Australia’s most recognisable bumper sticker. It was the symbol of a campaign to save Tasmania’s Franklin River from inundation by a hydro-electric dam. Public rallies, river blockades and Federal Government intervention raised the political temperature and, on 1 July 1983, the High Court of Australia handed down a landmark decision that prevented the dam’s construction.

This door of stickers grew out of the Trousselot family’s active engagement with environmental and other politics. After the family car (which carried many such stickers) was harassed by log truck drivers in the early 1980s, Ray Trousselot decided that it was not worth risking the safety of two adults and three children to make a political point – and stripped the stickers off.

Daughter Christine started putting stickers on her door as a method of self-expression and decoration. Other stickers were placed on the door by younger siblings. Stickers were chosen for their politics and sentiments, as well as their design. Robyn Trousselot kept the door after her children grew up to remind her of the family’s values and of passionate political debates around the family dinner table. The last sticker was put on the door in the 2000s.

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