Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

In South Australia, artists are at the forefront of the nuclear-free movement

Artists paint the truth of SA nuclear la la land https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=50616#.WKpGiNJ97Gg Michele Madigan |  12 February 2017

‘It will be your artists: the poets, painters, actors, dancers, musicians, orators — they will be the ones to lead the changes.’ It was one of the many international invited guests, a Maori woman speaker, who made this prediction to the huge 40,000 strong crowd; to the 30,000 First Nations people from across the nation and 10,000 of us non-Aboriginal supporters who had joined them enroute to Hyde Park, Sydney, on 26 January 1988.

In South Australia almost 30 years later, this prophecy continues to unfold in the ongoing high-stakes battle for country that surrounds the proposed nuclear waste dump.

The orators have been long leading the way. ‘We can’t sell that country — we can’t sell it. Just like selling your own kid, own grandmother, own grandfather,’ said Arabunna Elder Kevin Buzzacott at the 1998 Global Survival and Indigenous Rights Conference in Melbourne 1998.

Tjunmutja Myra Watson told the Olympic Games international media, Botany Bay, 2000: ‘We already lost everything at Maralinga’ — the site of the 1950s and 1960s British nuclear tests.

‘We thought that Maralinga would be the last one … We love our land … We got the Dreaming, we got the songs and we got the culture. We’re going to fight to keep it. Let’s keep it, let’s keep the country, not this man coming in and digging up our spirit and our land and all our songs. They’re spoiling it when they put the poison in. They’re taking everything and they did it before.’

They are joined in the struggle by other artists: painters Eileen Wani Wingfield and Eileen Unkari Crombie; dancers Eileen Kampakuta Brown, Edie Nyimpula King and other Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, dancing for protection of country in the bush; singers like Ivy Makinti Stewart, whose astonishing voice filled the Adelaide Town Hall with the lament of the Seven Sisters: Irati Wanti — the poison — leave it! Continue reading

February 20, 2017 Posted by | art and culture, South Australia | Leave a comment

Review of Black Mist Burnt Country – Maralinga – focussed art exhibition

Lester,-YamiBlack Mist Burnt Country review – exhibition covers devastation of nuclear war, Guardian, , 12 Oct 16  With works by Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Jessie Boylan, Black Mist Burnt Country homes in on the 1956 British atomic tests in the Great Victoria Desert.

In the new exhibition Black Mist Burnt Country, one photograph by Jessie Boylan sticks out. Yankunytjatjara man Yami Lester stands on the deep red earth next to a single skinny tree. His brown jacket reflects the muted landscape. His hands are clasped on his chest as if in pain, and his eyes, tilted to the sky, are scrunched shut. Yami Lester, you see, is blind.

Lester was just a child when the British tested the atomic bomb near his home in the Australian outback, in what came to be known as Maralinga. “It was coming from the south – black, like smoke,” he later recalled. “I was thinking it might be a dust storm, but it was quiet, just moving through the trees.”

Elders thought it was an evil spirit and tried to use woomera (spear-throwers) to disperse it. But the damage was done. Lester’s family soon fell sick. He lost his sight. The trees, too, shrank, shrivelled and died.

The national touring exhibition, which runs until 2019, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Maralinga atomic tests through painting, sculpture, printmaking and installations. Spanning 70 years, from Hiroshima to today, it covers artistic reactions to nuclear warfare from more than 30 artists, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

Black Mist Burnt Country may be broad in scope but it concentrates heavily on the infamous 1956 Maralinga tests in South Australia’s Great Victoria Desert……….Black Mist Burnt Country is at the SH Ervin Gallery and will tour NSW, VIC, SA and QLD until 2019   https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/oct/12/black-like-smoke-exhibition-covers-devastation-of-nuclear-war-in-outback-and-beyond

October 13, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, art and culture | Leave a comment