Australia’s Culture Portal: Indigenous film (DGM Module 1-2)

http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/indigenous/film/

This website is an official government portal to Australian Indigenous film, including a history of Indigenous film that weaves it closely to the developing intercultural dynamic from the silent film period of the 1920’s to present day. The history culminates in a reference to Ten Canoes (de Heer 2006), “Australia‚Äôs first feature film to be made entirely in an Aboriginal language (although narrated in English).”

An important inclusion on this page, and that of the Ten Canoes website (well-worth a visit) is the following warning: “This article may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased. It also contains links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased.”

According to McGrath and Philips (2007), it is a sign of respect to a deceased person not to use their first name, at least in direct reference to that person, for a period of up to several years. Eventually, the deceased’s name will often be used to name a new child in the family in order to maintain continuity in the family.

This Portal also contains links to many other useful resources related to Indigenous film in Australia, including similar sites, film sites, info about Indigenous filmmakers, and so on.

One aspect of this site that I find diminishes the status of Australian Indigenous film is that the government ministry responsible for this website is the Ministry of Culture and Recreation (my emphasis). While recreation, or play, may be a component of cultural activity, it seems disrespectful to put the two on an equal footing.

Reference

McGrath, P., & Phillips, E. (2007). Australian findings on aboriginal cultural practices associated with clothing, hair, possessions and use of name of deceased persons. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 14(1), 57-66. Retrieved from http://resolver.scholarsportal.info.librweb.laurentian.ca/resolve/13227114/v14i0001/57_afoacpuonodp

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