I haven’t watched it but Labor candidate for the seat of Fremantle Simone McGurk emailed me this link to a video they have produced on the election campaign. Here it is:
The HUMANINSIDE exhibition at Fremantle Prison is a confronting one for sensitive people. It is a show of photos, video and sound about the imprisonment of Aboriginal people. Ni Djininy Kadidjiny Wangkiny (Listen, Look, Learn & Talk) is very moving as it makes us deeply aware of the unacceptably high rate of indigenous incarceration in Western Australia. The Aboriginal imprisonment rate in W.A. is 3,991 per 100.00 which is almost double the national rate! Last night one in every 14 adult Aboriginal men would have spent the night in prison in this state.
Standing in front of a large wall with excellent photos by James Kerr I felt a deep sense of sadness, but also one of immense powerlessness and frustration. Aboriginal people looking at me from these photos, standing in a tiny cell arms crossed, almost asking what I am going to do about making it better. And I felt ashamed that we white people started the plight of Aboriginal people and their culture. We displaced them, took their children away, rejected their culture and belief, used them as cheap labour and many in our care were abused and all that often in the name of God.
Many Australians say we spend millions of dollars on Aboriginal issues and that it is time they themselves took responsibility and moved on, but moving on when white people took your kids for no other reason than that you are black must be extraordinary difficult.
How can we change the expensive programs that are not working into ones that will help and support our indigenous people. How can we make the millions of dollars work instead of being wasted. How can we get society to respect Aboriginal people, their culture and belief. How can we get rid of racism.
I love the T-shirt artists Tanya Ferrier was wearing yesterday. ERACISM it read. She mentioned that she had done sound recording of Native American people confronted with very similar issues as our Australian indigenous people, and I am sure she would encounter the same in South Africa and other countries where patronising white Christian settlers invaded and absolutely ignored the culture and laws of the indigenous people there.
Moving on is very important as we are fast seeing Aboriginal culture, law and languages die and that is beyond belief for me. Aboriginal people need to take more ownership of the problems, as many of their own leaders say, but there also needs to be far more sensitivity for the plight of the indigenous people from the non Aboriginal community.
I still have hope that together and with great respect for one another we can make the right policies which will make the changes needed.
The artists who created this excellent exhibition are film maker Glen Stasiuk, visual artist Tania Ferrier and photographer James Kerr. Don’t miss it!
The Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery is next to Fremantle’s Round House, which makes him and his wife Louise more or less my neighbours. They have just created a new stunning video, so Christmas time is the right moment to promote it here on my blog:
Enjoy a vicarious journey with underwater videographer Louise Stazzonelli and award winning underwater photographer Glen Cowans as they explore Planet Ocean. Beautifully choreographed with a stunning sound track, visit wondrous underwater locations from Western Australia and around the world.
Available both DVD and Blueray disk . Price: Blueray $30.00 and DVD $25.00
Great Christmas present for all who love nature! Come to the gallery on the weekend and stock up!
If you are interested in what Fremantle’s future might bring and all the new development in town, it is well worth watching this Youtube video:
James Howard Kunstler emailed me to say he had no knowledge of who put the video Youtube clip about Fremantle together that illegally used my photos. Of course I am happy to take his word for it. He is obviously not to blame, but it would be good to find out who actually pinched the images from this blog. I suspect it is someone in Fremantle.
I do not accept Kunstler’s notion that it is simply the “nature of the internet” to steal someone’s creations. In fact it is in breach of copyright and also against Youtube rules. Now let’s get on with taken more lovely photos of my favourite city. 9>)
For all those interested in the history of Western Australia and the awful treatment of the Aboriginal people, the art exhibition by South Fremantle artist Tania Ferrier at the Heathcote art gallery in Applecross is something not to be missed. The ROTTNEST QUOD PROJECT is both fascinating as well as immensely disturbing, but it is a part of Rottnest Island’s history that has been almost kept silent but needs to be told.
The quods were the prison cells for Aboriginese and many of them died there. Now they are used as rooms at the Rottnest Lodge for visitors and tourists from all over the world. Most would be totally unaware of that part of the building’s disgraceful history.
The story of the quods and the plight of the indigenous prisoners is told in moving video and sound bites, photos, prints and paintings. Tania Ferrier also built a replica of a quod.
I hope many high school art and history teachers will make the QUOD PROJECT exhibition an assignment for their students.
SPIN! I hate spin. I hate government spin. I hate it when politicians believe we are a bunch of idiots, and I hate it even more when our own City of Fremantle council is willing to spend thousands of dollars on this, well, crap, really! Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/cityoffremantle
And while we are at it, rumours are that the newish city website, they launched earlier this year, did cost many thousands of dollars more than most web designers would have charged to do something better. I was told it was around, wait for it!, $ 100,000.00!!!!!!!
Accountability is essential here Fremantle, so the CEO should give us the figures and let us know what we paid for this video, and the website.
Disclaimer: The city purchased the rights to use several of my stock photos of Fremantle for promotional purposes in late 2009. Grazie!