This documentary/mockumentry examines how white culture has tried to document the ‘other’ through lack of understanding and cross-cultural exchange. It does this by reversing the traditional roles of subject and documenter – an Inuit community tries to understand white culture by using the same methods that western documenters used on them to falsely represent their cultures.
To me, by re-appropriating the methods of settler culture, this film strongly comments on how traditional usages of media have served to subjugate and misrepresent Indigenous people and communities.
ABC Indigenous Australia is an offshoot of Australia’s major ABC network. ABC’s aim is to provide a platform for which Indigenous creatives can develop, be supported and fund their initiatives. Founded in 1987 and inspired by the former works of the Indigenous Programs Unit, ABC Indigenous Australia’s mandate is to provide a Indigenous voice to mainstream and primetime broadcasts.
What I find interesting about this project is that even though the organization boasts an Indigenous voice, it’s products are not fully autonomous Indigenous productions. As such, it puts into question the motives and intended audience. In other words, are these productions meant to entertain and educate primarily white audiences – if so, is this appropriate?
Below I have posted two clips and press from the highly recognized sketch comedy series ‘Black Comedy‘.
The 1491’s is an all indigenous sketch comedy group that focuses on the creation of videos, mainly distributed through YouTube , that challenge false Indigenous identities through satire work that exposes mainstream settler culture. What is particularly interesting about the group is their powerful commentary towards cultural appropriation.
In the below video ‘I’m an Indian Too’, the group depicts how hipster/fashion cultures appropriate false images of Indigenous folks. This clever video mixes, real images of appropriation with a satirical performance – all under the backdrop of Don Armando’s remixed version of Ethel Merman’s highly offensive song I’m an Indian, Too.