The Biggest Buffel Bust Ever!

Partnering with Arid Lands Environment Centre and many community volunteers and documenters we generated a super-sized buffel weeding photo called ‘The Biggest Buffel Bust Ever’ as part of the Visitors project. More than 120 community members came out in the early hours of Father’s Day (Sunday 16 July 2017) to be part of a world-record-length buffel line photo shoot. A section of the hill had a huge tract of buffel removed by volunteers during four buffel busting prep sessions in the lead up to the photo shoot.

The long line of models dissected the escarpment like a search party, shoulder to shoulder, weeding into the endless horizon of a country overrun. The buffel weed invasion is so extensive now that the best we can do is keep some tracts of land cleared to preserve the native seed stock.

‘In The Biggest Buffel Bust Ever! the scale of the image allows the viewer to grasp the magnitude and complexity of the ecological change that we, collectively, have allowed to seize hold of the landscape. This is not just because the overall image is big but because it sets several scales in play with one another all at once.’

- Kieran Finnane | Alice Springs News


Buffel grass is making a fast-destructive march across Central Australian landscape, literally defacing the land of its complex flora species and changing the natural ecosystem forever.  Introduced by pastoralists to feed stock, soil stabilisation and to keep the dust down it burns at a higher temperature than native species can tolerate, quickly colonizing the burnt-out areas and creating a mono cultural landscape. Although it has reached epic proportions it is not categorized as a weed so it is still legal for pastoralist to sow it for feed. The cattle prefer native grasses but there are no bulk native grasses available for pastoralist to buy.