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Friday, 20 December 2013

UTOPIA, John Pilger's Australian Dystopia; Stewart Gaykamangu's Silent Night in East Arnhem Land dialect of Yolngu Matha

Documentary film, register on ITV Player to watch (29 days left)

"Award-winning director John Pilger presents a documentary detailing the plight of the Aboriginal population in Australia's poorest region, Utopia".

Read more: John Pilger's article.

As a documentary, its approach reminded me of Jonathan Dimbleby's film on Ethiopia, "The Unknown Famine" (1973)- or rather of what Ethiopian TV did with it, intercutting shots of starving famine victims with scenes of Imperial Banquets.

Does John Pilger want the world to boycott Palm Beach and Rottnest Island, until such a time as a Treaty is signed?

John Crace, Guardian Review

"There were moments when watching this film felt like being smacked about with a sledgehammer. I got the point early on and the repeated flicking from the wealth and complacency of white Australia to the poverty and degradation of the Indigenous Australians became wearing...bludgeoning may be a natural response on Pilger's part".

Jeremy Eccles on "Utopia"

I suggest we all listen to this wonderful Aboriginal East Arnhem version version of Silent Night

There is hope.

"Stewart Gaykamangu recently recorded a special rendition of the popular Christmas Carol, ‘Silent Night’ in the East Arnhem Land dialect of Yolngu Matha – a language spoken only by about 4600 people.

Originally from the Top End, Stewart now lives in Central Australia, and his career is on the rise with his song ‘Lorrpu’ winning NT Pop Song of the Year and his debut album due for release in 2014.

He has performed at the Mbantua Festival, the National Indigenous Remote Media Festival in Ntaria and the Indigenous Economic Development Forum in Alice Springs, where his piano playing and stirring vocals impressed delegates from all over the country.

Swapping the tropical Top End for the red deserts of Central Australia after a church trip where he met his wife, Samara Burton, Stewart still sings in the church choir of Amata and was pleased to be able to record his favourite noel in his mother tongue.

“It makes me proud to sing this Christmas song in the language of my homeland. I hope people hear it around the world and think of my people,” says Stewart".

Read here.

Also, an article by Kimberley Moulton

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