Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Redfern Now - At Long Last

This post isn't about books but it may as well be. It's about arts, culture and understanding ourselves as Australians. I can't wait to tune into 'Redfern Now' a groundbreaking and historic program starting on ABC 1 this Thursday night at 8.30.
For the first time ever, we have a program written, directed and produced by indigenous Australians. Most of the actors too, are Aboriginal faces you will recognise, although the trailers appear to have some well-known albeit token white faces. I'm keen to explore how this makes me feel - to be the minority for once. And I urge you all to watch, listen and feel - without judgment, without blame - just watch this show.
Leah Purcell says it's "a bloody good drama" told from a "blackfella's perspective" - a storyline that "all comes back to love". LOVE people - and doesn't the world need more of that precious commodity?!
'The Sapphires" star Miranda Tapsell says 'Redfern Now' is not about hating, or blaming - but it makes her feel proud that "for the first time, indigenous people are creating their own identity in mainstream television".
Dare I say, it makes me feel proud too, and I'm a whitefella. That's not to say, I won't feel shame too. But, regardless of where you sit on the issue of race relations in this country, tune in. Because Thursday night will be history in the making.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hi Ho Hi Ho .. when "work" gets in the way of real creativity

Most writers are well-accustomed to the fact that the thing we love to do most in the world doesn't pay very well. Personally, I am very lucky my husband/patron/household treasurer is happy for me to keep plodding away at creative writing. But, I still struggle with the feeling that I should be "working" more, by which I mean "earning" more. So, I recently jumped at the chance to do some corporate writing - writing that actually pays. Quite well. I have been given the task of researching and writing about several African countries for an international recruitment firm. My info will be put into brochures for potential employees, clients and visitors. Thus, I am now an expert on Tanzania and Angola, but dragging the feet a little on Nigeria. I can't seem to get past the fact that my husband was offered a post there when we had a newborn and a two-year-old - needless to say, we didn't feel quite up to the adventure back then. Tanzania got me really fired up - who wouldn't want to live there with Mt Kilimanjaro, the Masai Steppe, Ngorongoro Crater and the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar? I was just about ready to learn a bit of Swahili, stick the kids in boarding school, and head off. Even Angola looked exciting .. but Nigeria? Isn't it the home of  internet fraudsters? Not to mention, a government which rewards writers critical of the regime with the death penalty? And a swift and deadly strain of malaria? I am sure I'll find something positive to say about this West African nation, 12th largest oil producer in the world, and tipped to have the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010 and 2050 ... There I've started already.