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At the Movies: Contemporary Australian Indigenous Cultural Expressions – Transforming the Australian Story

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2017

Lynn Griffin
Affiliation:
Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney 2007, New South Wales, Australia
Steven Griffin
Affiliation:
Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast 4225, Queensland, Australia
Michelle Trudgett
Affiliation:
Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney 2007, New South Wales, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

Cinema is an art form widely recognised as an agent to change the social condition and alter traditional norms. Movies can be used to educate and transform society's collective conscience. Indigenous Australian artists utilise the power of artistic expression as a tool to initiate change in the attitudes and perceptions of the broader Australian society. Australia's story has predominately been told from the coloniser's viewpoint. This narrative is being rewritten through Indigenous artists utilising the power of cinema to create compelling stories with Indigenous control. This medium has come into prominence for Indigenous Australians to express our culture, ontology and politics. Movies such as Samson and Delilah, Bran Nue Dae, The Sapphires and Rabbit-Proof Fence for example, have highlighted the injustices of past policies, adding new dimensions to the Australian narrative. These three films are just a few of the Indigenous Australian produced films being used in the Australian National Curriculum.

Through this medium, Australian Indigenous voices are rewriting the Australian narrative from the Indigenous perspective, deconstructing the predominant stereotypical perceptions of Indigenous culture and reframing the Australian story. Films are essential educational tools to cross the cultural space that often separates Indigenous learners from their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2017 

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