The Little Blak Book of ideas
Indigenous Performing Lines Initiative [Pilot]
Over the past 18months, a cluster of remote Indigenous Communities have approached Australia’s leading Aboriginal theatre company - YIRRA YAAKIN - to look at ways of re-instilling hope and positivity to Aboriginal Nations, that are feeling the real pressures of negative media, and the current racialised whole of community issue of abuse. These calls have been the communities response to re-building their worth and raising up from demoralising times. They see Arts and Culture as the vehicle in which the biggest achievement can be made, which can renew life and purpose to many people, individually and collectively. Arts and Culture for these communities is as equally as important as food and shelter. It is where the cultural knowledge was held and passed down generationally. This proposal undertakes a culturally appropriate implementation and development of a significant positive social change mechanism for Aboriginal people. It is not an inoculation approach to resolving issues, it looks to rebuild individuals and impact positively before any crisis or issue arises.
Over the course of three years, three communities would be simultaneously built up to develop, deliver and sustain their Aboriginal performing arts model, which involves a whole of community approach. Final outcome would be to develop public performances based on Traditional Stories and living cultural expression from these three communities as well as incorporate the skills of the WA Indigenous film and television initiatives. Performances would be at a world-class Aboriginal arts sector standard, have the potential to tour as well as be presented within the community as part of existing Cultural tourism initiatives and local festivals.
This initiative is a lead from behind program which invests in the skills and resourcefulness of the identified communities to eventually own and drive their community arts development. A successional model of skills transfer and management by key Indigenous partners and govt support services is the key to the success of this initiative. This project will be 100% Aboriginal determined and will form an example of best practice within an intra-Indigenous partnership model. This project will see Aboriginal people from Bidyadanga, Jarlmadangah, Halls Creek and other Aboriginal Nations working together to support and evolve a collective arts process.
It has already been identified that by the sheer geographical span of the State of Western Australia, we sit on the most diverse and extensive Indigenous arts/cultural experiences in this country. Western Australia is rich in Indigenous Cultures, colloquially known as BLAK GOLD. This cross sector partnership is a direct investment into how a collective and self-determined approach can unearth BLAK GOLD and transform into a sustainable economic sector.
Whilst this concept has been requested from all regions, there is a clear merit in starting within a focus area and building from this. Initial communities identified are:
• Bidyadanga [Between Port Hedland and Broome]
• Jarlmadangah [Between Fitzroy Crossing and Derby]
• Halls Creek [the centre point between the desert and ocean clusters of communities in the East Kimberley [saltwater and freshwater]]
• Economic Sustainability ‘whole of community’ model for remote communities
• Significant social change for presently demoralised and negatively focused communities • Reinstates the true value of Indigenous arts into Indigenous society.
• Cultural tourism opportunities
• Grows the Pool of Indigenous Artists and artsworkers
• Grows the Indigenous arts and Western Australian Arts Sector.
Is this a cross sector initiative? - YES. Specifically
Culture and the Arts / Tourism / Aboriginal Affairs / Regional Dev./ Education / Health
It is also an opportunity for an arts sector alliance between key Indig orgs and locally based providers