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Video and transcript

Video and transcript

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that images of recently deceased persons may be viewed. All images are included with the knowledge and permission of the individuals involved in the project.

Who you callin' urban? video transcript

Do you identify yourself as an urban Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person?

Jennifer Herd: I just refer to myself as an Aboriginal person. I don't really define it in terms of urban or remote.

Wesley Enoch: When people ask about how you identify yourself, whether you identify yourself as urban or Aboriginal or urban Aboriginal, I don't know. You don't actually question the air you breathe – you just breathe it. No one actually sits down and says – now how am I defining myself today?

Odette Best: I clearly identify as an urban black fella, definitely. I wasn't born on a mission.

Tjalaminu Mia: Aboriginal people are Aboriginal people whether you're living in urban-based society or in remote communities.

Wesley Enoch: What's interesting is that urban Aboriginal often means less authentic.

Carly Lane: The issue of authenticity is bull. It divides Aboriginal people – remote communities versus urban communities. There are pros and cons to different experiences and locations.

Tamara Forester: I feel because we're not as dark skinned, and we're not the clichéd look, that we sort of feel we have to prove more and really sort of get it out there that we are such a diverse range of looking people.

Julie Dowling: Not every Indigenous person in Australia is black. There are a lot of fair skinned Aboriginal people.

Samuel Wagan Watson: There is a really strong urban indigenous culture and it has many faces, it has many levels, it has many social structures.

Lafe Charlton: Urban culture is alive and well, and I think it's important that it's acknowledged as well because mainstream Australia tend to think – oh real Aborigines live in the desert, live in poverty, live in blah blah blah. That's their image of Aboriginal people.

Wesley Enoch: I have this really strong sense of making history – of writing onto the public record our stories. When we don't have a strong history of a written culture – a written language that our stories are told not in language but in action and in artefacts – in things.

Richard Bell: They are the modern Dreamtime stories. These stories that we're painting now will become part of the Dreamtime in the not too distant future.

© NMA 2006
(white writing on black screen)