Thursday, June 30, 2011

Featured painting



My Country by Kudditji Kngwarreye
Size: H-90 X W-120 cm.
Medium: Acrylic on Linen
Community: Utopia

This painting and more at Kate Owen Gallery

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

White Hot Anger - If the shoe fits ...

"If the government does a back-flip now ... what message does that send?"

HUNDREDS of non-indigenous Territorians are bombarding Centrelink with complaints after having their welfare money "managed".

The Federal Government has extended "quarantining" to all Territorians and now holds back half of all payments. Centrelink uses the money to pay essential bills, such as childcare fees.

Welfare recipients who don't think they should have their fortnightly money managed must make a special case to Centrelink. One woman said: "We have to prove that we're not going to spend all the money on grog and smokes."

A Palmerston mother-of-seven said she was shocked when Centrelink held back half of her $1200 fortnightly payment.

"They are paying my bills," she said. "There will still be money left over when the bills are paid, but I won't get that. It will be kept back in a special kitty."

The mother said she was told she could "buy something useful" - such as a washing machine - when there was enough money in the kitty.

"I've got to go Harvey Norman with a special voucher to buy the washing machine," she said. "That's humiliating."

Another woman said she would lose her car - Centrelink wouldn't meet the repayments because the vehicle is in her boyfriend's name.

Indigenous Territorians have had their welfare money managed for more than a year in a bid to force people to spend their income on essentials, such as food and clothing. Another mother said she knew that many Territorians would not be sympathetic with the welfare recipients.

"They think we're all a load of bludgers," she said. "But we're being told we can't manage our own lives."

A man said he was having his income managed despite the fact that he didn't drink or smoke. Centrelink had not replied to questions by the time the NT News went to press last night.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Warmun floods devastate a community and its art

In the space of a few short hours on Sunday, Turkey Creek rose beyond measure after 130mm of rain in 24 hours, and inundated the community of Warmun. The school, many houses and the store have suffered serious water damage. But possibly the most heart-breaking event for many residents is the irreparable damage to the community's thriving Art Centre.
Print Email this Share Permalink Turkey Creek runs through the centre of Warmun Aboriginal Community (200km south of Kununurra), but on Sunday evening the small creek burst its banks splitting the community in two as it flooded most of the houses, the school, the clinic, and the Warmun Art Centre including the new gallery.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sound archive of the British Library goes online, free of charge

 
 

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To say they are diverse may be understatement. There are Geordies banging spoons, Tawang lamas blowing conch shell trumpets and Tongan tribesman playing nose flutes. And then there is the Assamese woodworm feasting on a window frame in the dead of night.

The British Library revealed it has made its vast archive of world and traditional music available to everyone, free of charge, on the internet.

That amounts to roughly 28,000 recordings and, although no one has yet sat down and formally timed it, about 2,000 hours of singing, speaking, yelling, chanting, blowing, banging, tinkling and many other verbs associated with what is a uniquely rich sound archive.

"It is recordings from around the world and right from the beginnings of recorded history," said the library's curator of world and traditional music, Janet Topp Fargion. "This project is really exciting. One of the difficulties, working as an archivist, is people's perception that things are given to libraries and then are never seen again – we want these recordings to be accessible."

Much of the British archive was obtained by the library in 2000-01 in a lottery-funded project.

"These were recordings that were under people's desks and in people's attics and now we're really excited because we're able to put them out to a much wider audience," said Fargion. "These are unpublished and often raw recordings and there are people fluffing the words and discussing the songs so they give you a real sense of the store of traditional music that people carry around with them in their heads."

The archive includes many folk songs, and troop songs. Other clips might provide a lunchtime pick-me-up for workers trapped in offices, such as a boisterous pub version of It's a Long Way to Tipperary recorded at the Boldon Lad in Newcastle in 1979, complete with banjos and spoons and beery refrains.

Fargion said the cheering news was that, in Britain at least, traditions are still alive and well. "You do hear doom and gloom about traditions but I think we're seeing a bit of a revival of interest in traditional music, especially among younger people."

The recordings go back more than 100 years, with the earliest recordings being the wax cylinders on which British anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon recorded Aboriginal singing on his trip to the Torres Strait islands off Australia in 1898.

There are also recordings which were published but are little heard such as the Decca West African yellow label recordings, recorded between 1948 and 1961, which include calypso from Sierra Leone, quickstep from Ghana and the not easily categorisable - Ma Felreh and her Susu Jolly Group, possibly from Togo, performing Kingsway Bairie.

And then there is the downright peculiar. Someone, for example, has recorded an Assamese woodworm as it chews away at a window frame at 4am with crickets chirruping away in the background. "It is not easy to record a woodworm," said Fargion.


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Things you can do from here:

 
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RSS Feeds about Songlines

I found several feeds on Songlines today which I will post later this week. I used Google Reader to search for feeds including the word Songlines.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tanami Track and Songlines Talk

Richard O'Neill talks of the famous Tanami Track and energy line that crosses Australia and dreamtime journeys in the deserts


I would be interested to learn more about what Richard has been doing.

YouTube video of Aboriginal Art

Great selection of different styles of traditional and modern Aboriginal Art

National Geographic Documentary on Songlines

I recently watched this documentary by Wade Davis from National Geographic. While it is a great video it doesn't really have a focus on Songlines (as a navigation method).

It does at least identify a track, the Morning Star track ... which is encouraging.

However, they didn't record the song or map the track ... let alone explore how the songs are actually used for navigation.

I would still very much recommend the documentary for the many other features of Aboriginal Culture it explores, past and present