Wednesday, 1 June 2005

first hand: films by young Koories about culture and identity

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image will host the launch screening of First Hand, a selection of five short films exploring culture and identity by young Koories between the ages of 11 and 27 on Thursday 30 June from 7pm. The public screening, launched by Koorie elders Aunty Joy Wandin-Murphy and Uncle Sandy Atkinson will be a preview for NAIDOC Week celebrations.

First Hand is a cultural training and media project for young Indigenous people, with two major aims: to give young Koories the skills and confidence to express themselves and to empower the Indigenous community to explore questions of culture and identity.

During November and December of 2004, participants completed training in communications, media and cultural studies, practical workshops in video production and a scriptwriting workshop held in the Screen Pit at ACMI.

Community Elders from metropolitan and regional areas including Uncle Wally Cooper, Aunty Joy Wandin-Murphy and Uncle Sandy Atkinson taught the participants about culture and facilitated discussions about Indigenous identity. 

In February and March 2005, the young people engaged with their Elders and other community members by organising a community event. In each case the young people were able to speak directly with their Elders and explore questions of culture and identity.

The final stage of First Hand was for the participants to bring together the skills they had developed in communications, media production and, most importantly, cultural studies to make a film about themselves and their feelings about Indigenous culture and identity.

First Hand will be launched at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square and exhibited thereafter at the Koorie Heritage Trust from 4 July - 4 September 2005 at 295 King Street, Melbourne.

Featured films include:

 In This Place Again - Tim Kanoa, 19 (Gundijimara)
"This is a song about where I'm from. I'd like to dedicate it to the brothers, sisters and Elders from the Lovett clan and the Gundijimara tribe, so I hope you like it, you mob."  Shane Lovett (32), recorded 2004, Bendigo Correctional Facility.

When I heard the songs that my friend Shane was making in prison I wondered about him. This film is about my journey to visit him in gaol and to talk about his music.

Old Man - Amy Gordon, 18 (Brewarrina)
When I asked Uncle Kenny to tell me about growing up on Lake Condah Aboriginal mission I never knew its amazing history. Ghosts in the bunkhouse, the cruelty of the local schoolmistress, fear of being stolen away by the authorities, and the devastation of the Eumerella massacres. What struck me though was how peaceful it was with the wind blowing through the trees.

Memories - Jacy Alberts-Pevitt, 19 (Gundijimara)
"These few words describe my feelings of home. Heywood, The Old Place, Lake Condah, Just home". Jacy's grandmother grew up in very basic conditions and close to her culture in the countryside outside of Heywood. This film makes a poetic exploration of her upbringing and of passing on traditional knowledge to her children and grandchildren.

Possum's Tale - Josie Atkinson, 27 (Gumbanjerri)
My country is in my heart everywhere I go. My country is in my blood no matter what happens to me. My country is my family and my community. I feel love and acceptance when I am there. I've got to get back. Return to my birthplace. Return to my country.

No Dedication (No education), Ballarat Aboriginal Co-Op Youth Group, Ages 11-18 (Wathaurong)
This film is part documentary and part music video. On Sunday the 17th of April, Johnny Mac, a Koorie MC from Melbourne, performed at an outdoor concert and BBQ for 40 odd kids and their parents at the Ballarat Aboriginal Cooperative. The theme of the song and the day was education and the kids captured footage of the show and interviewed their parents and Elders about their school days.

Further information

Justin Rogers, Communications Coordinator, ACMI ph 8663 2475 m 0412 172 887
Danielle Poulos, Communications Coordinator, ACMI ph 8663 2498 m 0417 540 543

Find out more about First Hand

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