[quote]Now let’s de-romanticise the Aboriginal lifestyle (which repeats itself throughout the world) for a moment:
Life expectancies considerably lower than everyone else, extreme poverty, rampant alcohol and substance abuse, communities rife with incest and general sexual and physical abuse, extremely limited educational and employment possibilities and extremely poor access to general infrastructure and social services.
Sounds fucking fantastic! I can’t imagine why more people don’t make the change![/quote]
I’m not sure I understand your point exactly.
Mary is an artist: music, film (documentaries), and drawing.
She wrote the first Arrunda dictionary for use in schools–a project she did in collaboration with another one of my sisters. She spends much of her time just documenting aboriginal oral histories and collating and archiving those histories. She usually works from grants.
She’s a very good song writer on an amateur level. For example, she won the annual Tamworth country music song writing comp. a couple of years ago.
She has exhibitions of photography, drawing and installation pieces that usually reflect some aspect of the bush life. I think she gets funding for those projects as well.
No one who has lived in the bush in a ‘lean to’ has a romantic notion of the bush. I grew up in the bush and so too she–even still the aboriginal life in terms of material wealth is a much poorer one than she or I experienced, but it isn’t a miserable existence necessarily.
Community is strong. Interestingly enough, in Australia they had an intervention into Aborigine communities because of all the claims of incest, child sexual abuse etc. The ABC (Australia’s national broadcaster) followed the story for 18 months in one of the communities. It made for a very interesting program. The most telling thing was that sexual abuse was no greater than in the broader community and because of the intervention the incidences of it were well documented and data was more far reaching than that in the broader community. They did find, however, incidences of treatable diseases like deafness caused from chronic ear infections was hundreds of times higher than the general community.
Stereotypes are hard to break and many are laced with ignorance and prejudice.