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PostPosted: 30.08.2007, 18:23 
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Hey Jeremy,

Without personal experience of the Indigenous Aborigines and their long traditions and culture in North East Arnhem Land, all you can ever have are your ideas and assumptions. Books and research on the internet are fine but your didjeridu concepts will only exist in a virtual world.

You have a wonderful opportunity to expand your awareness through Garma and through meeting the Indigenous Australians who have invited you, but it will take more courage than the dollars required for your plane ticket!

However, you would then be in the rich and informed position of being able to speak at all your events and workshops from your own true experience, what a wonderful opportunity...

Best,

Colin

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PostPosted: 30.08.2007, 18:41 
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Hey there Colin;
If you perform and do a lot of public speaking, you know you can only tell so much before no one listens. I don't claim to be an aboriginal or Didgeridoo expert. The didgeridoo as I am sure you know, is an incredible tool to help gather attention and pass information along. I play non-traditional didge. I would like to know a lot more about the traditional side than I do know. Trust me, gathering books that have not been published for 30 years or more gives an incredible insight to the time and perspective of the Ignorant white settler in Australia and their attitudes of the aboriginal people. Now, we have all sorts of resources spouting a lot of information on the Aboriginal perspective, which is great. Unless there is a fund to send a poor white guy to go over to Australia, it is not in my cards. I know I inspire a lot of people to try and go over there. I remember driving almost 10 hours to promote tourism to Australia. The Queensland tourism board hired me to do that. I loved the opportunity to speak to these travel agents and their owners about places they have been and have not been. I had many suggestions for them and I was told basically not to scare them with all the issues that go on. The same goes for television and newsprint. I don't write the stories, they write them from information I give and what they want to write about.

Either way sorry about the tangent; I doubt I will ever get the funds up to go. Supporting a family of 4 and more is difficult for one person who works 7 days a week from 5am to 9pm.

I appreciate all your help guys. We will be replying again with an appology directly addressing the people listed on that letter and your input is valuable. :wink:


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PostPosted: 30.08.2007, 18:58 
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Quote:
I remember driving almost 10 hours to promote tourism to Australia. The Queensland tourism board hired me to do that. I loved the opportunity to speak to these travel agents and their owners about places they have been and have not been.


Frankly I don't understand how you can promote tourism to a country that you have never set foot in yourself. As a performer/educator, you have a responsibility to be vocal when the things you do are misrepresented in print and/or TV- so there is always recourse. You say you play non-traditional didge and don't make claims about being 'an expert'. That's fine- that's your prerogative- but when you begin speaking publicly as doing these presentations about a culture you have never experienced first hand- and meeting Lewis Burns at a didge fest does not count- you are misrepresenting yourself and them.


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PostPosted: 31.08.2007, 11:40 
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Location: Salt Lake City? Really? How did that happen?
I thought I'd check in and post some news from Yirrkala, but man, this is ridiculous! I'm not going to argue, but just state facts as I have seen them.

Actually, first a question - Jeremy, what heinous thing did I ever do at a JT fest? To you? I'm dying to know. I can't imagine, and can't help but feel you're looking for someone else to blame for the backlash over your own actions, so you're shooting the messenger.

All I remember is that in 2004 or early 2005, after I had moved to Yirrkala, you emailed me about your performances, wanting information to share about Aboriginal People. I told you what I learned in my development from a similar start as yours. Be yourself, share your own experience of the didjeridu, because that's all you've got. Until someone asks you to talk about them, it's probably not appropriate to do it. I said things in my early didj days that I wouldn't say now. So I told you, tell people the instrument comes from Australian people of the Top End, they use it in special ways in ceremony, but you haven't experienced that or worked with any Aboriginal People. Tell them about what you've learned from your experience with the didj. There's nothing wrong with that. But you quickly dismissed my input. Fine, I left you alone.

I also saw the pictures and videos of you guys painted up back then. I warned you how offensive that would be to many people. You dismissed my comments on that as well. I thought, fine, I don't need to be the culture police, things will sort themselves out as they do.

Earlier this year, I was forwarded an angry email from the Yothu Yindi Foundation after somebody in Aboriginal Australia found your site and started an email campaign. I thought, 'oh well, I warned them." I then got an extremely angry email from Adrian Burragubba, whose photo you had taken from his website and put in a collage with your own photos. Now HE was upset. I hope he got a better apology then a form letter atoresponder, because frankly, to take any other human being's image without permission to use in your own marketing is incredibly disrespectful. BUT - I still thought, fine, it's none of my business, I don't want to get involved.

Then I was contacted by Koori Mail. Lewis Burns, whose workshop one or both of you attended and was therefore used as credibility on your site, was contacted. His response was something like, "I don't remember them but they're probably well-intentioned but ignorant." He then referred Koori Mail to Djalu and the Arnhem Land people who originated the didjeridu and have used it as part of an unbroken tradition, unlike everyone else on the continent (and hence yes, maybe you should take his letter more seriously than other emails you got). Therefore I, as an employed representative of Yolngu people including Djalu, was contacted.

It was only then that I grudgingly got involved. I had no personal desire to attack you guys. I ignored two general rallying cries but came in when I was specifically asked to, or more importantly, when I was asked to help Yolngu elders get involved.

Once I did, I have to tell you that the reaction of Yolngu people to the text, videos and images on your site was disgust (edit - what the hell, I used the word d i s g u s t and got a little blue disgusted face!), even tears. One leader commented that he wished the didjeridu had never become known outside of Arnhem Land and simply walked away from the office. You need to step back from your rationalizations, pride and claims of respect for indigenous people and soak that one in. These are the people who you're claiming to respect, promote and help with your work. Drop your own ideas and listen to them.

I first spoke to Djalu as he's the one Lewis knows and mentioned. He's also the one whose story of the Djunggirriny you shared on your website with no permission or attribution, and who owns imagery like some of that in the body painting. He was just upset at first, but then came around to the idea of inviting you to ceremony in Arnhem Land, which then became Garma. This is the best of Yolngu way - open up opportunity for learning and healing.

The mention of Garma and also some of the other paintings necessitated comment from more people. One of them insisted that this issue be raised at the next day's Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Council meeting.

The letter that was sent to you was very carefully considered over a couple of days with lots of input from lots of leaders - many of whom don't get together and agree on anything else ever! It was not a rushed out threat like many of the emails you must have received from rasher people from elsewhere in the country.

The letter was emailed from Yirrkala's yidaki email address as the most appropriate channel to handle this affair. There were two responses. 1) Lindsey's letter in an autoresponse. 2) Your email which just stated that the dragon fly is all over the world and you guys have your own dragon fly rhythm, and that you should add that to your site.

I wrote back, very politely, I thought, considering the circumstances, that you had missed the point of the letter, that it was different than other angry emails you would have gotten, and that the only response I could read into your email was a "piss off, we'll do what we want" to the elders of the culture you claimed to respect and be helping by doing your performances. I asked you to read again and take another opportunity to respond. I told you that some of the leaders who signed the letter had already asked me whether you had responded. A few more did over the coming weeks. But we never heard back from you again.

So not only did you not ever, as you claimed, apologise, but you in fact sent one email that specifically made a point of NOT APOLOGISING, and further implied that you'd keep on doing whatever you want without regard for what you were being told by Aboriginal leaders. This also shows that despite what you said earlier in this thread, you knew exactly where to send your response. You were sent a letter via email, on the letterhead of an Aboriginal organisation that included snail mail address, phone, fax and email. What more could you need than that?

So drop all the half-truths, the revenge, the rationalizations and the self-righteousness. An apology is accepting that you've done wrong, showing some humility and making it right. It is not an apology if you continue trying to defend what you did as all right. It is not continuing to do what you want while claiming to be the victim of those whom you offended... or those who work for them.

Lastly, I just can't help but put in this quote from your recent post and just mention the word "irony."

Quote:
I have issues when a white guy is the voicebox for traditional peoples of the world.

Yirrkala will look forward to the response you say is coming.

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PostPosted: 31.08.2007, 15:14 
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Hey there Randy;

Real quick, I don't expect you to remember but our conversations in the past were not that pleasant. I ambushed you for some quick questions after your advanced workshop at the JT Fest long ago and you were not nice there. My g/f at the time even asked me at the time what did I do to get him all upset. The other time where I asked you questions about your work, the experience was again, not that pleasant and no information was passed along besides I need to come to AU and live with the Aboriginal people. Maybe my opinion of you is wrong and I hope so. I expect you have the same opinion of me as well.

With all the other stuff you wrote, please understand that we did not intend to cause any disrespect to anyone, let alone the Elders listed on that letter. We received a lot of email and honestly a lot gets lost in that type of communication. We discredited the death threats pretty quickly and passed those along to the proper authorities. As for the rest of the email, including the letter you wrote or someone else wrote on behalf of the elders, that is not the only type of communication we received. From afar, it is difficult to discern what is true and not true and I can honestly say that now I believe that letter to be true and from the signed people on the bottom. We will be responding to them as soon as we can. Mind you, patience is necessary even now.

Randy, even way back when you briefly mentioned that you are going to be doing what your doing, I understood the importance of that work. I truly do appreciate the work you are doing. I still do now ask, any information you have about your experiences I would like to know. Your there and I am not. I am sure I get the same books, see the same websites and read the same Koori newblogs as everyone else. Just like our own major media outlets, who do you trust and what do you believe. If you are the voicebox for the people in NA, it would be nice to know what to believe over there.

We will get the letter out soon, please pass that info on.
Jeremy


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PostPosted: 31.08.2007, 21:53 
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I think there are a few points which may be obvious to some, but not others.

I don't know much about the Yolngu, but I would venture to say that they don't have nice comfy houses like we here in the United States (even those of us who are referred to as "impoverished" by our standards) are accustommed to having. They don't have TV, cars, microwave ovens, etc. They can't fulfill basic needs by taking a little bit of money to a local 24hr Wal-Mart. Short on time to eat? They can't swing by a drive-thru.

My point is that so much of what they truely HAVE is their culture, their spiritual beliefs, heritage, family. . . these all compose who they are.

When you have so little of the material things, then what you DO have is much more important. And that is not to say that material things bring fulfillment. The designs they paint on themselves and instruments with which they make music cannot be compared to a band like KISS and their electric guitars. I feel this must be understood.

So from their perspective, they have shared of themselves with the outside world and have found themselves mocked in return.


Am I wrong about any of this?

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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 05:16 
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I would like to offer an apology to any person I offended in my previous post. Please believe that I am rarely so needlessly insulting. A kinder tone could have been just as effective.

I do stand behind the core principles of my message and the point I was trying to make by that type of presentation.

It's also of GREAT IMPORTANCE that it is understood that I certainly WAS NOT addressing my message to the respected Native Australian signatories of the letter that was posted, not for a moment. I would never refer to them as "followers."

I addressed the message to a specific person (who seems to enjoy influence in the didj community) who had posted his own messages with misinterpretations, inaccurate conclusions, and some fairly harsh words, and to those who supported that conduct. My first reaction was to question him and the integrity of all communication through him.

However, now, I'd like to believe that we all had good intentions. I also assert that those types of emotional words (including mine) are best kept off the internet, especially if you may be representing more people than yourself.

I am encouraged and hopeful that future communications and happenings in this and other matters will be much more positive and productive.

Sincerely,
Raina Dank


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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 10:34 
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Location: Salt Lake City? Really? How did that happen?
Raina,
Please reread my posts with a calmer state of mind. I've just reread it all with your posts in mind, and I stand by what I said, with a few minor apologies/clarifications that might make sense to you with a cooler head.

Reread my last post and a similar comment in the first post in this thread. I do not spend my time chasing down and attacking people. I warned Jeremy about this years ago and was ignored, so I let it go. It was only after I was specifically asked to assist Yolngu leaders to address this issue that I got involved. It was literally my job, my mission as a Fulbright Fellow, and the aim of my master's project to help them express their views about the globalisation of the didjeridu. I shared it with this forum because, as Martin alluded to first, this statement by Yolngu leaders on this issue is actually an important if not landmark event in interaction between the traditional origins and the outside didj world. It is an important learning experience for everyone.

The comment about burning in hell (top of the second page of this thread) was a tongue-in-cheek exaggeration, and is stated as a contrast to what "the better part of me" thinks. That is the part I stick with! People who knew me would have understood the comment, and I hope you can now, too. So, I'm sorry for that careless casual talk that certainly could be misunderstood.

The first mention of spears is in the next paragraph, and it is a light hearted reference to death threats I knew Lindsey & Jeremy would be getting from Aboriginal People around the country - as has now been confirmed by Jeremy in this thread. On our first visit to Australia, my wife was told by an urban Aboriginal in Sydney that she would by speared in Arnhem Land. This was not the case, just in the same way that J&L got threats from elsewhere, but stern yet welcoming words from Arnhem Land. Those comments are not at all a threat advocating throwing spears at your husband - it's actually more making fun of the people who would send such threats.

My next post about spears was a joking reference to that earlier post and the idea of people on this forum being jealous enough of the attention Dragon Fly earned that they might come here themselves and try to offend Yolngu. So again, I apologise if these comments offended you - I see how without the right understanding it would seem like schoolyard bullying.

The last apology for you and Lindsey, too, is for treating Dragon Fly Rhythms as a unit rather than individuals. The biggest part of my own personal upset about this incident is that years ago, I, while working as a representative of Yolngu yidaki makers, warned Jeremy of how offensive that imagery and those performances was, and he chose to claim a moral high ground and dismiss my comments. If he had listened to me then, all of this hurt would have been avoided. Perhaps he never told Lindsey about that exchange, in which case Lindsey can claim an earlier ignorance about the offense which inevitably caused the public mess. Lindsey sent no personal response to our letter from Yolngu leaders, which people here did not like, but at least he did not send a purposefully non-apologetic email like Jeremy did. So I am truly sorry for applying my comments to the group. Frankly, it was only one who really irked us here in Arnhem Land.

But know this - while I am sorry that it upsets you to have your husband slighted, it's because he did something incredibly wrong that deeply insulted THOUSANDS of people, a whole culture he talks of respecting, many of whom I call colleagues and a few of whom I call close friends (and many, probably including those who sent death threats, are people whom I've met and didn't like very much). Because the letter from Arnhem Land was written carefully over a few days with several people involved, it came after Lindsey's form letter response was drafted. As such, there was never any response from Lindsey to these traditional leaders, some of whom anybody who knows about didjeridu should recognise, especially Djalu Gurruwiwi. There was nothing in the form letter to address specific issues of these traditional leaders that were deferred to by Lewis Burns. There was an invitation in there - if I have to decline an invitation, I send my regrets. So this continued to be a big thing done badly.

SO - I apologise again for careless words that caused offense, but there was a greater offense that was never addressed and was, as far as the Arnhem Land leaders who are supposedly admired and respected by Dragon Fly Rhythms are concerned, in fact ignored by one person and flipped the bird at by the other.

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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 11:05 
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Location: Salt Lake City? Really? How did that happen?
Jeremy Lembo wrote:
Real quick, I don't expect you to remember but our conversations in the past were not that pleasant. I ambushed you for some quick questions after your advanced workshop at the JT Fest long ago and you were not nice there.

I'm sorry, I don't remember that specifically, but all I can do is apologise now if I was rude, and explain that most years at the JT Fest, I was overbooked with workshops and performances, \often rushing from one event to the next. You probably caught me (ambushed me?) trying to get out of one place to another. All the same, I'm sorry about that. Unfortunately, JT for me was always all work, no play (hence a dull boy).

Of course, there's also the chance you were asking me inappropriate questions, as well. :wink:

Quote:
The other time where I asked you questions about your work, the experience was again, not that pleasant and no information was passed along besides I need to come to AU and live with the Aboriginal people.

It was unpleasant for you because you didn't get what you wanted (relisten to the gospel according to Mick Jagger on that one) and I pointed out the inappropriateness of your website. There was nothing wrong with my behaviour. That's the email exchange I talked about already. I can't say I remember the exact words, but I was careful to be polite but stern. I stand by my decision that there was no appropriate answer to your questions for many reasons. Yolngu are people who live in Arnhem Land, not just a "culture" in books. You need to respect the people and their wishes, not just "the culture" as you perceive it from a distance.

Think of it this way - make a post here with everything you know about the people of Florida. Me and a group of Yolngu will start touring Australia telling people all about you as a whole (although, really that's not a good comparison as I've been to Florida twice). A) Does that make any sense? B) Would the show be any good or useful? C) Where would you even begin writing about everything you know about everybody around you?

I didn't feel I had anything to share at that point or that it was my role to be typing up everything I knew for anyone who asked me by email (especially not someone with a website showing himself painted like an Aboriginal, and refusing to admit anything wrong with that). There's no substitute for experience, and you can't share my experience with others, you can only share your own. You ask me to tell you about what I've learned from Aboriginal People - well, many are my coworkers and friends now, and the more time I've spent with them, the less I think it is appropriate to talk about their lives and culture. I know for a fact that Yolngu don't want people who do not know them to be representing them at all. So I say again, until you have experience with Aboriginal People who want you to say things for them, you don't have anything to say other than the basic background you already know - where it comes from, the fact that it's used in ceremonies that you don't know anything about and aren't your business.

From there, share your own experiences. Didj has done something for you that draws you to it. It's your own experience that has nothing to do with Aboriginal culture. Share that, and value it over any pretensions of connection to Aboriginal culture. Don't insult your own experience it by diluting it with talk about something you have no experience with.

I imagine I also told you that I was here doing a master's project to help Yolngu share their feeling about yidaki for themselves, so that it is not up to me to share things with you. It's up to them - or at least in the case of modern media, a collaboration. The work was only beginning back then. The result is now published at:

http://www.yirrkala.com/yidaki/dhawu

That's your answer, and none of that was mine to share until it was completed and approved by all involved. The main text was written by me and looked over by many Yolngu for over a year before it was made public. Quotes and video clips of Yolngu addressing the issues in their own voice are provided as well. Most Yolngu don't have the skills, energy and/or interest to make such a website (largely because they're so turned off by what they see in the outside didj world... ahem...), but were very happy to collaborate with me on it and put the word out there. I'm now the coordinator of a new multimedia centre in the community to help train Yolngu in such things, so maybe someday it'll all be done by them.

Quote:
As for the rest of the email, including the letter you wrote or someone else wrote on behalf of the elders

Ah, so you're accusing me of being a liar and Yolngu of being puppets, eh? Nice. For the general record, it was a computer on my desk and I helped with typing and grammar. As I said before, the letter was started in conversation with Djalu and family, next looked at by Wukun Wanambi, read and contributed to by the community council and then others at the art centre. It is a heartfelt statement direct from Yolngu leaders, edited and coordinated as any group letter is, mainly by myself and Wukun, now co-director of the multimedia centre. The only name on there who wasn't involved in the writing of the letter was Galarrwuy Yunupingu, who is pretty much the boss of Garma, so needed to be consulted for the invite to be included. He approved the letter as written over the phone.

I am absolutely not a voicebox for anyone. I am an employee and assistant of the community as a whole, and they can tell off people better than I can. In fact, you're lucky I don't tell you everything that was said by people seeing your photos and videos. They don't need my help with words and opinions, just with the typing and emailing!

Wednesday, three of us fly off to the APEC summit in Sydney. I personally am looking forward to hearing strong words from Djambawa Marawili about the current government intervention going on around here.

Lastly - never say never. I was a struggling indie musician and didj player when I had my first trip to Australia. I had no business affording to travel here, but a bit of totally unexpected instant karma gave me the opportunity. I didn't think I'd be able to take such a trip for many years if ever, and still didn't think it would lead to living and working here. So open yourself up to the possibility of going to Australia someday.

YAWN! Time to get away from the computer and think about something else.

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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 15:14 
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Thank you Randin.....well said:-)

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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 15:41 
as a side line to this but I am actually very interested would an aborigional actually carry out a death threat in this modern age if some member of the community (or indead outsider) was to break clan lore or is it more of a metaforic death within the community ie shund etc?

has always fasinated me that side of aborigional culture


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PostPosted: 03.09.2007, 20:31 
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To Randy and all within the breath of this forum:

I would like to apologize for any of my part in the misunderstanding. When we received the letter from the nine Yolngu leaders, we had also been receiving many other emails and letters at that time. The letter came at a time when I was in the process of moving my family into a new home and my wife was nine months pregnant with our newborn. We were overwhelmed with the correspondence and life’s other demands and it was quite an effort to prepare even the mass response, though none of this is an excuse. I have talked this entire issue over with my family and friends and continue to feel humbled and disrespectful for my own actions.

It has always been a dream of mine to spend time in Australia and Arnhem Land. As soon as it becomes feasibly possible I will make it over there and willingly face the consequences of my own actions.

I just got off the phone with Jeremy, who is away from his computer for a while, and he has given me permission to clarify a misunderstanding regarding an internal dialogue email that was sent out accidentally. In truth, your e-address was somehow included on an e-mail that was actually a response to an entirely different conversation all together about “dragonflies” that needs no further mention on this forum. It wasn’t a response to you or the elders. We are hopeful that they may still have room for us and our direct apology.

Having said all of this I think it should be known that Jeremy and I live 250 miles (over 400 kilometers) away from each other and much of our correspondence happens through e-mails. Jeremy is my business partner and good didj mate. Ultimately WE are all in this together as long as we live, work and play. I do not speak for Jeremy, but from my point of view, Jeremy never meant to offend anyone, especially the elders, and he regrets today how this was handled. I hope they can see our delayed response as time needed to make sure that we do handle ourselves properly. I hope the worst of our mistakes is behind us.

Lastly, I would also like to thank those who willingly are putting their own heads out there to be seen through all of this. I understand the desire to protect that which holds great value and purpose in this life, and I do not wish harm or ill feelings on anyone. The politics are not my arena, but please keep doing good work and keep us posted. I look forward to brighter days ahead and hope that we will continue to come to a better understanding of this path.

Peacefully yours,
Lindsey Dank


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PostPosted: 04.09.2007, 10:34 
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Fifteen years ago my mother went to Newcastle (north of Sydney) with two of her sisters, to spend some time with two of her brothers and their families who live there. She brought me back a tourist didj, a hat, and a small figurine of an Aboriginal man holding a boomerang.

The figurine has found a place on a shelf in most houses I have lived in since then.

In the four months since I started playing the didj I have been reading this forum and the websites of Yirrkala, iDIDJ, Manikay, etc., and I have realised that that little figurine is deeply offensive. It symbolises an imperialist and paternalistic view of native Australians, and seeks to symbolise a multitude of continent-wide cultures in one single-dimensional stereotype.

I could rationalise that it was a portrait of an individual, and therefore justifiable. But it is not. It is akin to putting an Aboriginal person in a zoo, exhibiting them as a 'race', as noble savages, in exactly the same way that we condemn the Victorians for doing.

I am a social worker, and a large part of my training and daily role is to challenge prejudice both in myself and others; to be as self-consciously anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive as possible. It can be very subtle, and it can be alarming to realise just how prejudiced even 'nice' people like your friends and family can be.

I thought I was above imperialism and that my 'awareness' of oppressive structures would bring me into the world of the Yolngu people with respect. The figurine shows me that I was wrong, and without serious reflection I am still capable of ignorance, oppression and offence.

When I get home tonight I will remove the figurine forever.

The argument in this thread does not involve me, and I am still wide-eyed at how big the didjeridu world is, and how smart and talented many of you are. The point I want to make is that prejudice and oppressive thinking exist in ALL OF US, no matter how aware we think we are. Challenging and learning is an ongoing process, and it is never something that we have 'done' or completed.

All we can do is look around us for clues. If someone tells us they are offended, then we have 'been offensive'. We cannot rationalise out way out of it. We have to change.

I am now appalled at myself for having - and until recently, liking - the figurine in my house. The key is that I have recognised it and chipped away the bit of prejudice that it represented, and I am now on the lookout for the next bit of me I need to change...


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PostPosted: 04.09.2007, 11:23 
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nest wrote:
All we can do is look around us for clues. If someone tells us they are offended, then we have 'been offensive'. We cannot rationalise our way out of it. We have to change.


Not to go off-topic, but you might have some insight to something I've been wondering about.

Whenever I turn on a television, I see something offensive. Out in public with lots of people, I'm likely to see behaviour or language which I find offensive.

I can be happy. I can be sad. I can be bored. I can be confused. I can be offended... All of these are emotional conditions which come and go. What is so wrong about being offended? Why does "being offended" seem to be so criminal? I'm offended all the time, often from something deliberate. I can rationalize if it was intentional or not. I'm aware that my values are not shared by everyone. I get over it.

I'll give you an example: Some troops in Afghanistan recently gave away soccer balls to some locals. It seems these balls had the flags of different nations printed on them in a spirit of international brotherhood. The flag of Saudi Arabia happens to have the names of "Allah" and "Mohammed" and the Saudi flag was on the balls. The Afghans were deeply offended by this.

Why was that the news story? Why was the headline not, "Afghans Reject Gifts, Offend Troops."

I wonder if expressing my views about this is going to offend anyone?

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PostPosted: 04.09.2007, 11:39 
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Joined: 23.06.2006, 15:36
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Location: Manchester England
I do tend to agree with you here neal

I can only comment on bristish society, but I personally feel we are far too sensitive to causing offence to some group

I'm not advocating going out of one's way to offend, but realistically its part of life. I think we are on a dangerous path when try and change something on the grounds that it might be offendive to a particular person or group (within reason of course)

If someone told me I had offended them I would want to know why and reflect on my actions. I don't think it would per say mean I had been offensive

There are over values that I hold dearly that are in conflict with this notion
Freedom of speach, Freedom of expression

Someone once defined racism in a similar way "if someone percieves you to have been racist you have been"
I'm certainly against racism but I find this way to simplistic and intself widely open to abuse

Life just aint that simple, maybe we find offense in some things that simply challenge our beliefs

I'm not a religous person but last Xmas I heard a piece on the radio were someone was basically saying that they were deeply offended that Xmas was comercial and celebrated in ways that weren't christian

Xmas is the only time I sit and have a meal with my whole extended family, I catch up with old friends and generally enjoy myself

By the above argument I should review this as it appears to cause offence?????????????


Last edited by Paul on 04.09.2007, 11:49, edited 2 times in total.

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