Educate yourself, educate the community (or, aural learning)
So I have been spending an extraordinary amount of time walking for the last 6 months or so – I’m talking anything from 6-18km a day. This has mostly been for health reasons (seriously, endorphins rock) but also because I have been listening to, mostly, ABC Radio National podcasts. I found that with a whole bunch of these on my mp3 player I’d just keep walking and walking being totally distracted. Some programs are really interesting, some entirely dull, but I often get something out of them. There is a bit of a preponderance for Phillip Adams here (who I like, sometimes despite myself)
I am running out of the more interesting podcasts on the ABC and am having trouble finding websites that have similar well produced, interesting radio docos and interviews and the like, so I’d appreciate any suggestions. If there is an interest in the following programs I will look forward to posting more suggestions for your listening pleasure.
You should also check out Radio613: “Diasporic tones find auditory homes through featured interviews, music, readings, discussion, and documentaries. Each week radio613 presents Jewish perspectives on religious/spiritual thought and practice, race and racism, gender and feminisms, anti-semitism, identity politics, colonialism and resistance… and more! ”
Try these (vaguely categorised) out for size:
Peter T. Ferguson is the great grandson of Uncle William. Ferg wrote recently, “My entire family takes pride in being Yorta Yorta and is extremely proud of the work that was done by William Cooper. William Cooper was such a humanitarian that in 1939 he led a delegation to the German embassy in Melbourne to protest the treatment of Jews in Europe. He was the only political leader of any ilk in the world who had the courage to stand up for what he believed in – a fair go.“ Ferg has been a good friend to student activists for years, along with Wayne Atkinson (who runs the legendary On Country Learning course at Melbourne Uni) who shares Uncle Williams’ mother with Ferg. Uncle Wayne, Ferg and many Yorta Yorta people have done an excellent job over recruiting activists over the years – including, it should be said, many Jews.
RN writes “William Cooper is counted among the righteous who saved Jews during the Holocaust. In late 1938, this elder statesman of the Aboriginal rights movement delivered a letter of protest to the German consulate in Melbourne as synagogues burned across Germany in the aftermath of the infamous Night of Broken Glass, or Kristallnacht.”
You can also read Gary Foley’s essay Australia and the Holocaust: A Koori Perspective. Gary writes: “It is probable that the ironies of the deputation’s visit to the German Consulate were part of the group’s strategy to draw attention to the similarities between what was happening in Germany and how Aborigines were being dealt with in Australia. If that was the case it must be said that their remarkable action achieved little in mobilising the conscience of mainstream Australia either in terms of the situation of Germany’s Jews or that of Aboriginal Australia. Indeed, their gesture has been almost completely forgotten in Australian history.”
Phillip Adams interviews Bain Attwood here on William Cooper (but read the above essay first).
Blue Mud Bay – “After 30 years of fighting for sea rights and almost a year after their historic win in the High Court, the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land have celebrated their victory in the Blue Mud Bay case. The long-awaited decision recognises traditional owners’ exclusive rights over commercial and recreational fishing in tidal waters on Aboriginal-owned land in the Northern Territory.”
This decision is really important in helping to overturn such on going, persistent belief in mare nullius – sea without laws/owners. (Also contains interviews from an exhibition at the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, and a Dreaming story from the Jarlmadangah community in the Kimberley.)
A Bastard Life. – Regular readers might remember anzya’s great post here about the doco Bastardy, which, if you get the chance, you must watch. For those folk who have lived around Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, you will probably recognise Jack Charles and his bro.
“Jack Charles reckons he’s had a bastard of a life but throughout his 66 years and despite the plunging lows, he’s kept a sense of humour and a wicked laugh. Uncle Jack has been many things – professional actor, heroin user, thief, jail inmate and one of the homeless parkies who live on the streets of Fitzroy and Collingwood in inner Melbourne. He’s also a survivor of the stolen generations and the subject of the documentary film, Bastardy, directed by his creative ally Amiel Courtin-Wilson.”
The Murray – The Great Red Gum Forest – Yorta Yorta woman Monica Morgan speaking strong, as always, on the history of the Barmah forest, struggles with local cattlemen and others in the non-Indigenous community and looking after country.
“Phillip visits the world’s largest river red gum forest, the Barmah Forest, where he speaks with Yorta Yorta woman, Monica Morgan, about the historical and contemporary significance of the forest to indigenous people. There are up to ten distinct language groups along the Murray River and they have recently formed a confederacy to promote indigenous interests.”
Nitmiluk, the third Jewell – “Twenty years ago a land rights claim threatened to split apart a town already heavily divided along racial lines. The Jawoyn claim over Katherine Gorge was met with angry rallies by the ‘Rights for Whites’ and with much vocal opposition in Territory parliament.”
Ampilatwatja Protest – “A conversation about the protest by elders and others from the Ampilatwatja community in central Australia. Three months ago over a hundred people walked out of the small community and refused to go back until the federal government responded to their complaints about the lack of consultation and restrictions placed on them under the Northern Territory Emergency Response.”
This is an ongoing struggle. You can find out more here.
Truganini, bushranger – Most people involved in any kind of solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Australia have probably have had to deal with the lie that “Truganini was the last of the Tasmanian Aborigines”. This explores this myth, but also looks at how kick-arse she was.
“One of the most familiar names in the story of Australian colonisation is that of the Tasmanian Aboriginal woman ‘Truganini’. But for most people the story begins and ends with a single, very famous photo, along with a label describing her simply as the last of the full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines. Not only was that label deeply misleading, we now know that Truganini’s life is one of the most significant foundation stories of European settlement in Australia. But there’s still one story that few people know about and about which little has been written—it’s the extraordinary tale of Truganini’s time as a bushranger.”
Emancipation: How Liberating Europe´s Jews from the Ghetto led to Revolution and Renaissance – “For almost a half a millennium, the Jews of Europe were segregated from the rest of the population. Confined to ghettos in towns and cities and to small villages in the countryside their lives were restricted by curfews, employment bans and a complete lack of political rights. But all that changed with the French Revolution – which brought democracy and the idea of the nation state to the modern world; and emancipated the Jews as part of the project. These changes brought us some of the great intellects of the last century and a half -Einstein, Freud, Mahler, Proust and Marx, as well as many less famous minds.”
Hans and Gina – “Hans Post grew up in Nazi Germany and became an SS officer in the latter stages of World War Two. Gina Behrens was born in England to Jewish parents; her early life was donimated by the war and its aftermath. So what would two such different people have in common? In this program Hans and Gina discuss their early lives, how they met, and their relationship together over the last 25 years.
Norman Rothfield – “Norman has devoted sixty of his ninety-three years to the struggle for peace and justice. In this program he talks about his early childhood in Britain, his Jewishness, and his leading role in the Australian Jewish community.”