Culture

Flanagan issues clear warning at Garma

Australian novelist Richard Flanagan says the Turnbull government wrote itself out of history and wasted a chance at reconciliation when it rejected last year’s Uluru Statement which recommended giving Aboriginal people a voice in parliament.

Mr Flanagan said most Australians didn’t know about and would be horrified at the full extent of massacres and “wars of extermination” that had never ended for Aboriginal people to this day.

“My warning is this: if we here in Australia do not re-imagine ourselves we will be undone,” he said.

Garma festival: Indigenous sovereignty would be a ‘gift for all Australians’

The annual Garma festival in northeast Arnhem Land opened for the 20th year on Friday with attendees told that Indigenous sovereignty would be a “gift for all the Australian people”.

At a ceremonial welcome at the Gulkula grounds on Gumatj country, senior Gumatj ceremony man, Djunga Djunga Yunupingu, said a year ago they had been speaking with hope about the Uluru statement and its three proposals for constitutional reform.

Yunupingu calls out government over land

The colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners, says activist Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has told the federal government it must face up to the fact the colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners.

Dr Yunupingu, a 70-year-old land rights activist and leader of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people, opened the 20th Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land, where he made the remarks, on Friday.

Top End Hosts 12th Year of Prestigious Aboriginal Art Fair

Next week, art lovers from all over Australia (and the world) will gather in the Top End as Darwin hosts the 12th year of the prestigious Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) and is transformed into an internationally recognised epicentre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) culture, art, fashion, music and food.

The only national event of its kind, DAAF generated a record $2.23 million in 2017 and a total of $8.83 million over the past five years and has secured a reputation as one of the country’s most significant and internationally recognised arts events

It’s set to be the largest one ever as, showcasing the work of more than 2000 Indigenous artists from across Australia with 100 per cent of revenue going back to remote communities.

It is an exciting week for Arnhem Land as 6 centres will be representing the region and showing off its own work at DAAF:
Bula’bula Arts (Ramingining)
Buku-Larrnggay Mulka (Yirrkala)
Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts (East Arnhem Land)
Injalak Arts (Galbanyala)
Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation (Ngukurr)
Milingimbi Art and Culture (East Arnhem Land)

 

Darwin will again be transformed into an internationally recognised epicentre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) culture, art, fashion, music and food, as the Top End hosts the 12th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) this August.

Created 12 years ago, DAAF has cemented itself as a platform to ethically promote the artwork of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres and communicate the important economic role they play in generating revenue for remote communities. It has also become a wider platform to discuss modern Indigenous culture, issues and ideas.

Growing annually and with almost 10,700 attendees in 2017, the 2018 DAAF will feature a selection of prestigious cultural events and activities, kicking off with the popular From Country to Couture fashion show on 8 August.

DAAF will showcase the work of more than 2000 Indigenous artists from across Australia, with 100 per cent of revenue going back to remote communities.

The only national event of its kind, DAAF generated a record $2.23 million in 2017 and a total of $8.83 million over the past five years and has secured a reputation as one of the country’s most significant and internationally recognised arts events.

Executive Director of DAAFF, Claire Summers, said she expected the New York Times’ recent recognition of the Top End as one of the “Top 52 Places to Go in 2018” would bolster already growing international visitor numbers this year.

“It was humbling to see DAAF named as one of the key reasons to visit the Top End, and fantastic to see our region receive such positive international endorsement,” she said. “We’ve been steadily building our international curator visitor numbers in recent years, and expect this to increase following the New York Times’ recognition.”

Each year DAAF showcases a spectacular diversity of artwork and provides visitors with a genuine opportunity to meet Indigenous artists, performers, and arts workers who have travelled to Darwin from some of the most remote regions of Australia.

This year’s calendar includes cultural performances, workshops and demonstrations, kids activity stations and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) panel discussion.

“DAAF provides a genuine opportunity for arts industry buyers and art and design aficionados to purchase art directly from Indigenous owned and incorporated Art Centres from right across Australia,” Ms Summers said.

“We have visitors come from all over the world for the opportunity to purchase stunning art and experience the rich diversity of artwork that has been inspired by Australia’s most remote desert and coastal regions, to rural and urban communities.”

DAAF offers a range of styles, mediums and products including paintings on canvas, bark paintings, works on paper including limited edition prints, sculpture, didgeridoos, fibre art and cultural regalia.

DAAF is held annually in August, and is proud to sit under the umbrella of the Darwin Festival. DAAF is owned and operated by a membership of ATSI Art Centres and its mission is to encourage the production of Aboriginal arts and assist with the promotion in an ethical business environment. DAAFF is committed to professional development opportunities for artists and Art Workers, and to continually contribute to the cultural aspirations of the Art Centres.

DAAF was originally conceived and designed to complement the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). It also celebrates the National Indigenous Music Awards and the Garma Festival which are held over the same week. Together, these prestigious events mark the most significant national festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts in the world. DAAF is also proudly supported as an umbrella event of the Darwin Festival.
For further information, visit www.daaf.com.au .

For more information, please contact Bastion Effect: Emma Jarrett 0438 336 408 emmaj@bastioneffect.com Lucas Forato 0421 987 117 lucas@bastioneffect.com

 

 

Rare glimpse of Arnhem Land funeral ceremony filmed to promote understanding of Yolngu law

Funeral ceremonies in the Northern Territory’s Indigenous communities are often spoken about, but rarely seen by outsiders.

At a homeland burial site near the Arnhem Land community of Galiwin’ku, water, smoke and songlines have been used to cleanse clan members and guide a spirit home.

Senior clan members have allowed the ceremony be filmed, in the hope that non-Indigenous people — known as balanda — can learn about the ceremony’s place in Yolngu society.

Dictionary for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages a decade in the making

“The kids are growing and not knowing how to write their own Yolngu Matha name,” laments Jane Miyatatawuy, a former teacher from the Top End coastal communities of Ramingining and Milingimbi.

In a step to providing better resources for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages, a new and improved illustrated dictionary has been created — containing close to 300 words and watercolour pictures.

Leaders’ pace on reform ‘too slow’

Senior indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has admonished Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten for the slow pace of indigenous constitutional recognition, almost a year after he believed both men were going to make the issue a ­priority in the parliament.

Penning a heartfelt chairman’s essay for his Yothu Yindi Foundation’s annual Garma Festival in August, Mr Yunupingu, a leader of Northeast Arnhem Land’s Yolngu people, expresses disappointment that the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have not translated their forceful words at last year’s event into adequate ­action.

Bali’s fake ‘Made in Australia’ boomerangs and didgeridoos robbing artists of a living

An undercover 60 Minutes investigation has exposed the Australian businesses importing fake Aboriginal artefacts from Indonesia to sell in Australian tourism stores.

The shocking exploitation of more than 40,000 years of indigenous culture has resulted in Aboriginal artists no longer being able to compete in the market – which was one of the largest remaining sources of independent income for indigenous communities.

Reporter Liam Bartlett began the investigation in the ancestral birthplace of the didgeridoo in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia.

ACT treaty needed to right past wrongs made against Indigenous people

The Barunga Statement, despite having been effectively ignored for the last 30 years, has been given life by the Northern Territory government which has announced that it will, consistent with the demands incorporated in the statement, begin negotiations with the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory for a treaty.

While differing in content and structure, the Barunga and Uluru Statements are in essence concerned with the same issues, namely self-determination, self-management, sovereignty, land rights, truth telling, an historical reckoning and justice. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia are calling for these rights to be recognised and guaranteed through a treaty or a makarrata.