Mittwoch, 13. Juli 2011

grotesque situations - or - racism in Australia

Don't you expect an Aborigini at the Uluru to show you around and tell you about their culture? Well, I kind of did. Everywhere I go around the Uluru, the Entry, the Information Centre, the Art Shop I see European people selling aboriginal culture to their kind. Signs prohibit to take pictures, since this is a sacred site of the Uluru. Who setup those signs ? A video is shown in the Information Centre moderated by a descendant of Australian convicts. I can't get rid of the feeling to look at a culture that still exists but doesn't - at one of their most sacred places. This is just wrong. I feel like a troublemaker, like someone who interferes with a culture that's supposed to be right here but can't any more since their place - ones sacred -is now disturbed by Europeanised tourism. Well and I must talk, being here myself and "living the dream". It's grotesque and I can't really figure out what I shall make out of it. It feels like the Aborigines are reduced to some kind of Animal "our kind" can look at from a perspective which is save and sound. Just make sure the money flows. But does their culture still exist ?

Coming down from Stuart Highway I meet a lot of Aborigines. Shopping in Tennant Creek scares the shit out of me. Heaps of Aborigines hang around the Shopping Centre smelling like alcohol, sweat and piss. I take all my valuables with me, hurry to get my shopping done and get the hell out of that place. Raised in East Germany means to be reminded of what the Germans did to anyone who wasn't as blue eyed and white coloured as Captain America. "We are all the same." I am fighting with a little racist coming up in me who keeps banging on my "common sense" which was ironed into my brain since I was able to speak. But it's getting worse.

At a camp site close to "Alice" I get to listen to Bon Jovi, Brian Adams and David Hasselhoff. It sounds like a teeny party about 10 years ago. But it's not. Aborigines have a drinking celebration at their side of the pub. YES right. THEIR side ! The pub is divided into two areas. Black people and white people. Martin Luther King once had a dream. Keep dreaming buddy. I feel like being in the United States around 1780. This is just wrong. The Aborigines are pissed by 6pm and shout and scream at each other right next to my camp site. Buying some water at the shop is scary again, since the "black side" of the fence has closed their alcohol consumption area and people are standing outside and perform their yelling and shouting.

I remember the native Australians in Sydney playing the didgeridoo at Circular Cay accompanied by some techno beats. I liked those fellows. I am not sure about the people living in the outback though.


Mario hat gesagt…

The point is, that nothing reminds you of what happened when England discovered Australia, no monuments of how many people got killed, to be reminded of, to be regretful. There doesn't seem to be a single bad thing in the perfectly polished shape of Australia's "history" a tourist could stumble upon.

Marco hat gesagt…

Dear Mario H., being in Canada and the states for a while made me feel almost the same way.
Passing through Indian (or native?!) reservations and seeing what's left of their rich culture was simply a shame and sad!
But I always tried to find the answer why those "people" live exactly like what you've described nowadays. Even though they apparently would have the chance to either live white peoples life or their "original" way of life ... I never got to understand it!
Oh and by the way - in the Dominican Republic people celebrate the "invasion" (or landing) of Columbus which brought basically the destruction of their culture ... didn't get that either!

Mario hat gesagt…

I don't know about north america... but what's just weird is, that Australia is really two faced when it comes to Aborigines. On the one hand you are introduced to the great culture and spiritual awesomness and on the other hand you can't sit in the same pub with an Aborigini.

anne catisson hat gesagt…

had a similar experience while in Broome. A nice skinny small 60something years old aborigine woman was dancing barefoot in a pub, a bit tipsy but she was nice to everyone. most of the customers were aborigines. then, for no reason, the 6f...oot security guy dragged her out of the bar. She slapped him with one of her sandals because he was hurting her. He kept the sandal, and ...called the police.... we asked that he gave her the sandal back. he said it was a weapon, he had to keep it as evidence. The police arived. we told them that we would take her back home. The police put her at the back of their truck like an animal and told us to mind our own business....''it's not your country, you don't make rules here, let us deal with it our way''....I cried all night, and will never forget that moment...i wondered for months if, being an European, I had that will of conquest in me and if it was a genetic thing in the ''white culture'' to want to control other cultures.... i really felt bad for what our ancestors did around the world....i understand your feelings....but we did learn, and we will not repeat it...xxxxxxxx