“There are no legends” were Hugh Masekela’s parting words from the main stage at WOMADelaide 2013, after the MC had declared “what a legend”, following the extraordinary performance from the 74-year-old giant of African music.
I’ve just seen a remarkable movie.
It’s not remarkable in the way that movies are usually remarkable – mind-blowing graphics; intricate plot-lines; mega-star performances; astonishing budgets – none of that.
The thing that sets this movie apart is the enormity of its humanity.
Neo-liberalism is a hungry beast and this 21st Century strain of capitalism is shaping the agenda for control of Aboriginal lands.
You only have to listen to Professor Marcia Langton’s Boyer Lectures on ABC Radio or read Noel Pearson’s sermons on acquisition to see how this virulent form of free-market fundamentalism has gathered influential adherents, including policy makers in both political parties.
Australian Government policy is heavily influenced by neo-liberalism through its extraordinary emphasis on managing access for mining companies to resources on Aboriginal lands. This involves controlling what is still perceived as ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and forcing a social transition from traditional values and Cultural practice to ‘mainstream’ modernism of a particular brand. It also involves displacing many Aboriginal people from their traditional lands and concentrating them in ‘growth towns’.
The 2012 National Folk Festival in Canberra was a tonic for the soul. With around 200 international and local acts, the biggest challenge was making sure not to miss that special favourite. Continue reading