Interesting story but… In the 1970s there was mainstream interest in …

Comment on Yuendumu writes new chapter on the beginnings of contemporary Western Desert art by Tjapangati.

Interesting story but…
In the 1970s there was mainstream interest in preserving and showcasing Western Desert culture and it was this interest that drove both the art movement at Papunya and in an ephemeral way at Yuendumu.
At Papunya, Geoffrey Bardon shaped his artists to produce art for a newly emerging market.
The artists were not self consciously engaged in cultural renaissance, they simply wanted money to access the goods of the society they lived on the fringes of. Ian Dunlop’s video of the interaction between Pintupi/Luritja people and Bardon in the early ’70s illustrates this nicely.
Painting at Papunya had nothing to do with insecurity of their murals, it had everything to do with having Bardon on hand and a market for their work and being paid.
That wasn’t on offer at Yuendumu at that time except for the one off museum project.
The lavishly constructed men’s museum was funded by government to address some of the sins of assimilation, to restore Aboriginal pride, in a changing political landscape.
But Aboriginal people had changed and there wasn’t much interest in protecting sacred items in the museum so these were neglected or returned to country to rot away, as is the custom.
There was no direct connection between the museum and painting for the market at the time and it was much later that the art movement took off in Yuendumu.
Even when it did start up Warlpiri men had little to do with it and women were mostly the artists.
So the museum doesn’t really connect with the Western Desert art movement as this story suggests and there can be no legitimate claim to usurp the Pintupi/Luritja originators.

Recent Comments by Tjapangati

Even if ‘unfair, unreasonable or too harsh’, it is still the law
It is not open to them, as a matter of law, to find the accused not guilty because they believed the law under which they are being judged is “unfair, unreasonable or too harsh”.
Well actually this option is open to the jury and if I had been on the jury I would have taken it.
In the USA there are many not guilty findings irrespective of the law and the evidence where the three strike law jailing offenders for life applies.
In the years to come we as a society may wish we had paid a lot more attention to the cause of the peace activists.


Family violence is mostly men making a choice
One of the choices is the one we as a community make when dealing with domestic violence offenders.
Domestic violence programs in prison have been an unmitigated failure.
If they were scrapped tomorrow there would be no change in the recidivism rate for domestic violence offenders.
And millions of tax payer money would be saved.
Corrections do not keep data on the success or failure of their programs despite prison review recommendations that they do this.
It would be too embarrassing to do so.
The jail programs do not resonate with the real issues in Aboriginal men’s lives.
The staff administering them do not have the cross-cultural background to understand what these issues are.
The reduction of the numbers and roles of Aboriginal staff within the jail has not been helpful.
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Cut mining royalties to land councils: elder
200 series Cruisers are not the usual mining company vehicle. I’ve never seen one at Newman for example.
They use troop carriers mainly.
So why would Central Petroleum be buying six 200 series?
They likely went to traditional owners, while also providing $$ to the CLC.
It’s the way the frackers do business with the gatekeepers.


Cut mining royalties to land councils: elder
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Take gas and fracking advocate company Central Petroleum.
They recently bought six 200 series Landcruisers for a whopping $600,000 from CLC part owned Peter Kittles.
No discounts there.


Guilty: unanimous jury verdict for Peace Pilgrim
John Bell what Anti-Yank, Pro-Yank hostilities?
Not wanting a nuclear target down the road doesn’t make me anti Yank.


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