Weblog for Module 1
This Australian company has created an augmented reality storytelling platform that brings cultural stories, art, place and objects to life through animation. It describes itself as being like “Pokemon Go but for Indigenous knowledge systems.” When pointed at pre programmed objects (card set, or tshirt), it comes to life and tells its story. This app began on Kickstarter in May and was funded in June. The woman that started the company is of indigenous heritage and employed cultural leaders to assist in the development of the app. The app works anywhere in the world, the internet is not a requirement and at the request of the Senior Traditional Owners the AR experiences are placed based only.
This film is a well researched look at how the media has influenced the perception of aboriginal people, starting from one of the first films made, to the western genre and beyond by a Canadian Cree filmmaker. It looks through the decades of the 20th century at social justice issues and what the impact of the media had on the issues, outcomes and the perceptions by North Americans, such as Wounded Knee. In the early 70s Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to the Academy Awards. When he won for The Godfather she declined on his behalf, citing the treatment of aboriginal people in American films and television, as well as the events at Wounded Knee. There is a phenomenal cast, with interviews with people directly involved with film making, all with great stories. This film is very watchable and in my experience, students really enjoy it as well. https://www.nfb.ca/film/reel_injun/trailer/reel_injun_trailer/
This series on APTN discusses the idea of beauty in Aboriginal cultures and the effect mainstream media has on how indigenous people see themselves. In one episode indigenous actors discuss how difficult it can be to get roles in television and film. One woman speaks about how she doesn’t look ‘native enough’ and even other Aboriginal people comment on her appearance as not being ‘really native’. It also has episodes on cultural appropriation; FNMI fashion designers and missing and murdered indigenous women. One episode about the frequency girls that girls are taken from reserves under the guise of modelling and sold into sex trafficking is particularly disturbing. It brings to light issues that are not discussed openly in mainstream culture, but should be.
Schooling the World
This film questions the need for all children to attend school, a western approach to ‘modernizing’ cultures around the world. It discusses the detriment that western education has brought to cultures, while trying to “pull people into dependence on the modern centralized economy”. It is a fascinating film that will no doubt cause teachers in particular to rethink their views on the purpose of education.
Uncontacted Tribes: The Last Free People on Earth
In 2010 a photo was taken of a man and children in Brazil. It is thought to be one of the last uncontacted tribes on earth. The response to that photo was incredible, with calls for protecting the people and their land. Times has certainly changed when the general public in the western world would have seen a photo like that and thought it was their duty to ‘civilize’ and bring technology to the tribe. This article discusses the choice that uncontacted tribes have made to remain uncontacted. A different way of life is not backwards, or inferior and the rest of the world should respect that.