The film Zach’s Ceremony (2016) documents the ‘coming of age’ of a young Aboriginal boy. The film provides the viewer a deep insight into the culture of the Aboriginal people of northern Australia (Garawa, Ganggalida, and Waanyi) as well as detailing the differences and tensions between what might be labelled as ‘tribal tradition and city life’. Such tension is evidence in Zach’s claim: “When I come up here and I’m called white, I go back down there and I get called black” (12:14 minute). Drawing on Cowlishaw’s critical statement: “…Aborigines were usually depicted either as having lost their culture, or as clinging rather pathetically to its remains” (p. 75), reflect on the importance of culture and traditions for Zach’s sense of self and place. Draw examples from the film
Larissa Behrendt reflects on her ‘legal blinkers’, which initially obscured her recognition of the importance of ‘self-determination’ when it comes to ‘way of life’ (2002: 43). Drawing on the two short documentaries set for this topic, you need to critically reflect on how law and policy makers in Canada and Australia might suffer such ‘legal blinkers’. Concentrate on the following three questions: Is prohibition helping or hurting the people of Nunuvat? Is the Mandatory Alcohol Order a “racist act”? (see Senator Nova Paris in Living Black, ca. 11 mins.). Are ‘failed policies’ impacting on the self- determination of the people of Nunuvat and the Aboriginal people of Alice Springs
Eddie Mabo was a man who was influenced by two cultures, his ancestral Aboriginal culture and white, dominant Australian culture. Drawing on We are No Longer Shadows (2012), provide some examples of these influences and their ‘making of Eddie Mabo’.
: Stuart Hall (Hall & Black 2009: 669) claims: “…I will never be English – never”. Explain the reasoning behind his claim. Then look at the claim “…you know we were born British Citizens, and we were more British than the British” in the first minute of Culture Clash on the Front Line (2014). Explain the reasoning behind this claim. Provide a brief comparison of the two claims, thinking about ‘place’, ‘displacement’, and “out-of-place-ness” (Hall & Black 2009: 670).
Global warming is destroying Greenland’s fishing industry, but, as the film How Global Warming Is Transforming Greenland’s Economy claims, shorter winters and the retreat of the ice has uncovered rich deposits of valuable rare earths. In what ways will mining benefit ordinary Greenlanders? In your opinion, will the traditional Greenlandic way of life survive a transition from fishing to mining?