~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for July, 2007

Short Film- NAIDOC 2007

Posted by carolom on July 16, 2007

As I mentioned in yesterdays blog entry, there was no coverage of the NAIDOC Rally on the news. Fortunately the NungaTV caemra was there and David Salomon produced the following news story featuring community members and of course the gorgeous fashion parade kids!

Please feel free to forward the information on so many people are able to hear the stories that weren’t told in the evening news during NAIDOC week…

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Adelaide’s NAIDOC Rally- 2007

Posted by carolom on July 13, 2007

What a big turn out for the NAIDOC march through the city from Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square) to the banks of the River Torrens.
Here are some of the images from the annual Rally…

What a wonderful day of Spirit and Pride intermingled with the outrage and injustice of all that continues to occur with government policies that sanction the continual erosion of self-determination and justice.
Linking child abuse in some communities to the removal of land rights across the board re-enforces the historical mistrust and outrage that began when the first piece of traditionally owned land was invaded and occupied all those years ago.

When John Howard announced that the government will be sending in the police and army to change behaviours in communities, I wondered where the Healers, the counsellors and culturally connected facilitators of change fitted into the equation…
They don’t of course and the disregard of the deep healing, systemic cultural trauma and grief and loss components of initiating sustainable changes reflects the lack of Initiation and wisdom by those who have made these autocratic decisions.

“Don’t Tampa with our Children” was one of the messages on the placard…

As a non-Aboriginal Australian for Reconciliation and justice I am dismayed by the on going racism by exclusion in this country…
Where are young Aboriginal teenagers seeing themselves on mainstream television? Rarely ever on popular soaps and the on going stereotyping of Nunga youth as either a criminal, car thief or football player re-enforces the limitations of systemic stereotyping even further.

You can view some of the positive stories on the Indigidocs website that we developed in partnership with the S.A. film corp, NungaTV and members of the Community:
Click here for the Indigidocs short-docos on line
Katrina Power’s story can be heard by clicking on the NTV4 button on the t.v. graphic. Her insights regarding contemporary ‘rites of passage’ through the criminal system are a powerful statement.

Statistics reveal that whilst 4 in 1,000 non Indigenous youth experience incarceration 54 in 1,000 Aboriginal youth will be locked up at any given time.

Katrina Power was the first Aboriginal Journalist working for The Advertiser, back in the years when it was considered important to have a journalist who would cover the news, views and events in the Aboriginal Community here in South Australia.

The NAIDOC march in Adelaide was not covered by the media…we didn’t see the story on the evening news.

Media often talk up the negative issue-based stories but give far less voice to the positive gatherings that reflect strength and pride and give little voice or recognition of the critical issues related to land theft, injustice and the on-going exploitation of traditional land and resources….aspects of Australian history and current circumstances that remain untold on the larger platform of Australia’s media / story telling outlets.

After awhile the predictable media-pattern of perception and portrayal becomes apparent when you see how little coverage the grass roots, positive stories receive when you attend many open-Community events annually and consistently find no coverage of them in the local papers or on television.

Life and how it is constructed and portrayed is all about relationships and I often ponder on how many politicans, public servants and media creators /journalists and story tellers have personal connections and relationships with Aboriginal people….the cultural divide is still a chasm in this great land of Oz. I know that when peple have personal relationships with those they see as ‘different’, the racism by exclusion would not be as prolific as it is today…
When we care and connect at a personal level we have a very different experience of the suffering and challenges of others.

“We are all the same within, regardless of the skin we are in”….

So here is my short photo essay of the culmination of NAIDOC 2007…photos that say Yes! it DID happen even if you didn’t read about it in the press….

Thankyou to the NAIDOC Committe and the many volunteers and contributors who made the NAIDOC Celebrations a huge success.

The “Sold” sign in the background is more than a bit ironic…

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Sista Act….

Posted by carolom on July 12, 2007

This locally written and produced play tells some of the stories of the Aboriginal Women who have been activists and role models for change here in South Australia for the past 70 years.

I was thrilled that Sista Act is featured in NAIDOC week as I had seen it during Reconciliation week in May and was able to go a second time with my mother, sister and niece. Mum was aghast by some of the things she learnt and is now just a bit more aware of the price that Aboriginal people have paid- and ocntinue to pay- since the European invasion of their land in 1788.

Australian settlement was founded upon apartheid and the enslavement of Aboriginal people who were classified with the fauna and flora until 1967 when the Referndum for the Vote for Aborigines saw over 90% of the country say Yes! to the vote for amending the atrocious laws that did not recognise Aboriginal people in their own land.

At the end of the play one of the audience , an Elder who was featured on the roll call of achievers stood up and through tears and with heart felt passion, called for this play to be funded to travel the country so that manymore people can hear this story and share in teh music and history and song and laughter that make up this brilliant production.

Here is the flyer for the show:

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Aboriginal Mental Health and developing Relationships…

Posted by carolom on July 10, 2007

The following link will take you to a very interesting program produced by the “All in the Mind” Radio National team.

I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in understanding the challenges and opportunities for mainstream Australia to develop culutrally relevant partnerships and to enrich service delivery and inter-personal relationships with Aboriginal people….something that, historically white Australia has failed and the devastating impact of that failure resonates right across the country today.

Click here for the All in the Mind Webpage
From the page:
Mental health and other professionals inexperienced at working with Indigenous clients struggle with the limits of their cultural awareness, with language barriers and with the historical legacies of mistrust and misunderstanding. Cultural competency is more than sharing a joke. So what is it? And how can psychologists, doctors and others acquire it?

Click here to listen to or download the ABC(Australian) Radio Program- Psychology and Indigenous Mental Health

Posted in Aboriginal, Change, Community, Lifes Stories, Transformation, Unity, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

It’s not just the music and the rhythm….

Posted by carolom on July 3, 2007

African culture, in its many shapes and forms and separate nations has a strong appeal to me…
I was very influenced by my Teacher Vernon Hoffman as a teenager..he was a wonderful, eccentric, loud, passionate South African man who embodied the metamorphosis of Black Africa and Western education.

I haven’t been to Africa yet…but I know Sal and I will trravel there and I am very much looking forward to the everyday art and creativity that is so much richer in dress, jewellery, art’chitecture and song than us left-brain trained Westerners.

Like these houses for example….

Now I could verrry easily live in a mudbrick hut with richly textured walls, painted wearing a gorgeous pallet of cloth like that adorns these ladies!

I worked on a youth employment project many years ago that entailed building a mudbrick house in six months with 10 long term unemployed people under 25…70% building time and 30% personal and team development (that was my job)….

That house is still standing almost 20 years later……it was eventually purchased by one of the participants and to this day I have a place in my heart for chunky mudbricks and wheelbarrows of muddy paste that can only truly be understood by those who have felt the earth shape into a dwelling….

Makes me want to go and paint a blank piece of wall somewhere….

Posted in Africa, Art, Community, Creativity, Prosperity, Social Artistry, Warrior Women | 1 Comment »