Tune In, Too

Thanks to Kim Christen, author of Long Road, for pointing out that video from the SBS program Living Black is available online. I can see that I’ve got some late night viewing ahead of me: the content that’s up on the Living Black website now reaches back to May, and includes stories from the intervention, on the ground, from Yuendumu to Broome and Papunya to Maningrida. There are interviews with Mal Brough, Jon Altman, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, and Queensland Democratic Senator Andrew Bartlett, who was a member of the Senate Inquiry into the Indigenous Visual Arts and Crafts Sector and who has consistently supported indigenous involvement in political solutions to community affairs. What I’ve managed to watch so far has been enlightening, to say the least. It’s refreshing to watch commentators like Altman and Bartlett who are articulate and passionate and insightful. It sure puts CNN to shame (not that, in itself, that’s such a hard thing to do.)

I happened to stumble on even more video today at the news.com.au site Culture in Crisis. There are clips of Yolngu dances, an interview with Gawirrin Gumana, and Djambawa Marawili explaining funeral ceremonies in the “Stolen Culture” section. The “Shame File” offers audio slide shows that speak frankly about the problems of alcohol, petrol, and child abuse. In the third section, “Future,” you can listen to John Howard, Brough, and NT Chief Minister Clare Martin, as well as Mandawuy and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Jakie Huggins, and athletes Kyle Vander-Kuyp and Nova Peris. The contrast between Howard’s vision of Aboriginal people’s future as being “just like us,” and Yunupingu’s vision of mutual support and respect is not news, but it’s somehow more shocking to see the two men actually say the words, rather than reading them in the newspaper. Clare Martin’s 30-second clip has more impact that Howard and Brough combined.

And speaking of reading and reports from the ground, I should take this opportunity to plug Long Road one more time: Kim has just returned from two months in Tennant Creek, and her reporting on her work there in establishing a digital archive of Warumungu culture as well as on the ugly business of the intervention and the loss of CDEP should not be missed.

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