March 3, 1992 |
Guillermo Gomez-Pena stroked his mustache, pulled on a cigarette and offered an assessment of the work. "This kind of art is not uplifting," he said, waving his hand in a dismissive motion. "It's propaganda. It's incriminating." The work in question was his own, but the opinion was not.
September 20, 1987 |
A High Court judge wept as he listened to harrowing accounts of racism against Aborigines in Australia's outback towns. "I have been to Soweto in South Africa, to German concentration camps, but this is my own country," he exclaimed after trudging through ankle-deep mud to inspect 40 hovels, home to 500 Aborigines in the Toomelah settlement in New South Wales.
August 5, 1997 |
Instead of a test pattern on their television screens at 4 a.m., Australians trained their bleary eyes Monday on the red, black and yellow geometric designs of the aboriginal flag, as seen live from Greece in mid-victory celebration. Australians were up and tuned in before dawn because halfway around the globe, Cathy Freeman was bidding to become the women's world champion runner at 400 meters.
January 6, 1991 |
"For me, the work is almost like an emotional diary," reflects Nina Wiener as she discusses how she approaches making dances. "I finish a piece, look at it and say, 'That's interesting; I hadn't realized I felt that way.' " The tall, lean choreographer, who exudes casual glamour, is sipping tea in her Tribeca loft while the season's first snowfall blunts the city's harsher edges. But her mind is on a very different terrain--that of Australia, which inspired her latest dance.
September 25, 2000 |
When Cathy Freeman took to the track early this morning to run the 400-meter finals at Olympic Stadium, she was wearing the prescribed Australian team uniform, green and gold. But her shoes--those were yellow, red and black. Yellow for the sun. Red for the land, the red center of this vast island continent. And black for Australia's indigenous people, the Aborigines.
March 21, 2013 |
Some diversions invite comparison more readily than others. Take "The Sapphires," the most chipper film ever set in Vietnam. Already many have taken it, and liked it. If you enjoyed "Strictly Ballroom" or "The Commitments," which is to say if you fell for the slightly pushy charms of those show-business fables (one fantasy Australian, the other Irish, though directed by an Englishman), then chances are you'll go for this true-ish story of an Aborigine singing group entertaining the American troops, enemy fire be damned, in 1968 - like Bob Hope and Raquel Welch, New South Wales division.
February 28, 1993 |
The vitality of Papunya made it the focus of a fledgling Aboriginal art movement 20 years ago. Today the tiny community is a sad symbol of neglect, like the Aborigines who live there. Twisted playground equipment lies unused and rusting in an overgrown field. No one has cleaned up the glass knocked out of the lone phone booth. Hulks of broken-down cars sit on bare rims. A windmill lies where it collapsed. Garbage litters the wind-blown fields. A few skinny dogs roam the streets in the noon heat.
August 28, 1994 |
Flogging, spearing in the thigh and forced exile may seem like barbaric punishments, but they work for Australia's aborigines and even have the blessing of white judges. White authorities frustrated by rising crime are allowing aboriginal leaders to administer their own justice, sometimes without trial. Three months ago, tribal elders in a small town near Darwin in the Northern Territory decided car theft had gone far enough. They persuaded police to turn over six aborigines, ages 15 to 25, for a dose of traditional justice.