It’s our place: we belong to it

There was a great story on the 7:30 report last night. It broke all the rules, in a good way. It was a story on the bilbies on Anangu land and a group of painters who had a successful exhibition in Sydney and Melbourne.

They used words from Pitjantjatjara in the story, and they were some approximation of correct stress and phonemes. They interviewed the painters themselves, not just the white person who runs the arts centre (Ninuku). They had an aboriginal person doing most of the voice-overs. The story acknowledged the group by name; they weren’t just ‘aboriginal’ stories.

It was a really positive story, and a very nice change from the relentless negativity of the general media.

But the other reason I am blogging about this was a really nice quote from one of the artists. She was talking about Kalka community and the country that she’d painted. She said “this is our place; we belong to it”, not ‘it belongs to us’. It’s something that resonates with the way that I’ve heard other aboriginal people talk about land ownership and belonging to country.

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4 responses to “It’s our place: we belong to it

  1. Sorry to be a pedant but it should be anangu (ie first n is retroflex). The story was a refreshing change given the widespread coverage of the ‘intervention’ and the associated negativity.

  2. Hmm, my html tags didn’t work (and looking at the page source they got stripped out). The first n should be underlined, not the ng.

  3. You mean ṉ? You may wish to experiment with Unicode U+0331 COMBINING MACRON BELOW. Although ṉ is available precomposed as U+1E49 LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH LINE BELOW and its uppercase counterpart U+1E48 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH LINE BELOW.

    I heartily recommend avoiding the use of HTML markup for orthographies, instead using Unicode diacritics and precomposed characters wherever possible.

  4. Sorry about that Doug, I’ve been spending too much time with Bunuba. I knew there was an underline but couldn’t remember where it went…

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