Digital photograph of a poster pasted up on Lygon Street, Carlton, by a local graphic designer during the first Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne in March 2020. The poster reads 'Landlords Help Carlton Traders One Month's Free Rent'. It was the first in a series of two posters. This poster was on the wall of Readings bookshop on the corner of Lygon and Tyne Street.
Julie Cattlin, a local living on Elgin Street in Carlton, took it upon herself to try to bring local landlords and businesses together by encouraging generosity over profit during the Covid-19 pandemic. She printed out 60 copies of these posters and stuck them only on already-vacant properties or public walls but the message was directed at the owners of tenanted properties at risk of closure.
While not made as part of the official Rent Strike campaign, these posters speaks to a wider community conversation across Melbourne about rent, land ownership and privilege. Julie knew a lot of the tenants with businesses still open on Lygon Street who appreciated and partook in discussions. Julie felt the Lygon Street/Carlton district suffered during the lockdowns because it was a destination - a destination of restaurants and cafes that were no longer a drawcard for tourists or others across Melbourne who might come to the city to work, shop and study. "We suffered like the city suffered." she said.
"I have no idea the effect of these posters. Unfortunately by the end of the year, many restaurants and cafes had closed, along with other retail shops. Lease signs were everywhere.
It is encouraging that now Lygon Street appears to 'be back' and busy, and soon will be the exciting, multi-cultural shopping strip with all its shops, restaurants and cafes functioning well - for everyone!"
Julie Cattlin, Tuesday 18 May, 2021
Description of Content
Poster, portrait format, pasted to exterior concrete wall with torn posters and stickers alongside and underneath it. Footpath and street visible to left of wall, with 'Readings' bookshop sign and cafe/bar seating in background. Poster reads: 'LANDLORDS / HELP CARLTON / TRADERS / ONE MONTH'S / FREE RENT'
Place & Date Depicted
Digital Still Image, JPEG, Colour
Type of item