Hibernian House is a big old derelict building in the middle of Sydney. Artists, musicians, poets and designers live there. There's no proper front door. The lift is broken. It's filthy.
Almost every inch of the interior is covered in graffiti. There's a large Anthony Lister mural on the roof. There are puddles of water inside. A screaming silence echoes through every room as you climb the floors. The graff is disorientating; you struggle to remember the way back out.
And you're never sure if someone is watching.
The air is musty. There are messages scrawled everywhere. It feels unstable, unsafe. Should it be demolished to make way for a shiny new development? $1 million apartments?
I saw a poetry reading there this year. I sat on the worn, warm floorboards. There were hipsters. You can't replicate the feeling of electric words fizzing in the air. You can't replicate. This. Place.
You wouldn't demolish it because there aren't enough of these places. Artists need space to work in. They need immersion in a creative community. I need you and you need me.
I feel a little better now. When I share this with you, I feel better. Hope I see you again. I.
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