Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes

Table of Contents:

Prologue - They say that behind every great fortune is a crime
Chapter one - The Oppression of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes
1.1. Traditional Structures of Aboriginal Society
1.2. The Impact of European Culture on the Lives of Indigenous Australians
1.3. Segregation, Assimilation, Alienation
Chapter two - Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes
2.1. Transition from Oppression to Exploitation - the Commercialization of Aboriginal Culture
2.2. Market Overview - the Importance of the Indigenous Economy
2.3. Four Facets of the Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes
2.3.1. Australia’s "Takeaway-Tourism"-Industry
2.3.2. "artistic terra nullius" - Violation of Copyrights
2.3.3. Feeding the stereotype - Aborigines, Art and Alcohol
2.3.4. Exploitation of Education
2.4. The Interlinkage between Social Issues of Aboriginal Australians and the Exploitation of their Culture
2.5. The Pendulum Swings - the Role of the Government
2.5.1. The Two Major Parties in Australia
2.5.2. Protection of Copyrights
2.5.3. Aboriginal Land Rights
2.5.4. Marginality of Aboriginal Power in Politics
2.5.5. Forwards to the Past - the Political Course towards Aborigines in the 21st Century
Chapter three - Tjukaruru nyangatja - That is how it should be
Chapter four - Steps Towards an End of the Economic Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture
Interview with Svargo Freitag
Appendix
Bibliography

 

Prologue: They say that behind every great fortune is a crime

A survey published by Chicago University in March 2006 states that Australia is the third most patriotic nation in the world1. This statement was partly formed by a reflection on Australia’s economic development. Somewhat "founded" by British convicts in the late 18th and early 19th century, it has become a land of industrial growth and widespread prosperity. However, it is often left out that this legendary rise came about through systematic oppression, destruction, and exploitation of the culture of Indigenous Australians, commonly known as Aborigines.

The present situation of the 21st century, of which Indigenous people still have a life expectancy of approximately 20 years less than white Australians2 due to shocking disadvantages in all fields of social life, is similar to the leaves of a tall tree whose foulness can only be understood by examining it, beginning at the roots - its history - and finishing with the buds on the youngest twig - its current state and the possibilities for the future.

The first chapter of this report gives a brief history of Australia’s development and outlines events and consequences of the colonization by dissecting the two fundamentally different cultures of Indigenous Australians and the British. This period reaching up until the 1960s can be described as "the oppression of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes."

Chapter two follows the transition from oppression to exploitation of the Aboriginal culture. This section will also cover opportunities as well as problems of the so called "Aboriginal Industry"3 which will be outlined by means of analyzing statistical data. The core segment of this chapter consists of a detailed examination of the various different facets of the exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes. It will become apparent that this exploitation is not only a result of Australia’s unalterable history but is closely correlated with the current social status of Aborigines in today’s society. This interlinkage as well as the government’s policy towards Australia’s Indigenous people over the past decades will be examined in this context. The findings will serve to understand mistakes made in the past and to provide a realistic frame which allows a look at possible developments in the near future. This creates the basis on which practical solutions will be examined.

The third chapter will portray an Aboriginal-owned tourism company in order to find out if traditional culture and modern economy can potentially coexist, and if so, to what extent this is possible.

In chapter four a revision and final interpretation of all findings from the preceding chapters will be made in order to find ways to close the wounds of the historical abuse of Aboriginal culture in Australia at last.

As a round-off, an interview with Svargo FREITAG, the manager of the world’s largest online store for authentic Didgeridoos, will provide an insight into the trade with Aboriginal culture. As opposed to the rest of this essay, this section intentionally offers a less generalized view on the topic with the effect that the connections between roots, nature and consequences of exploitation become more plastic and easier to comprehend. It covers the most important aspects once again and supports the findings with various examples. This section can be read either as an introduction or a conclusion to this paper.

 

Chapter one: The Oppression of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes

In 1770 an English captain by the name of James Cook was given a mission from the British government to find new, economically useful land.4 Later that year, the Endeavour landed at the Australian east coast in the current state of New South Wales.5 Due to 18th century European presumption, capitalistic greed, and racism, the dark-skinned Australian natives were subjugated by British colonization.

For a long time, however, exploitation of the cultural goods of Indigenous Australians was not regarded as a profitable business. In the era of colonization and the build up of an overseas industry, slave labour was the only "service" Aborigines had to offer. Thus, this first chapter outlines motives, justifications, causal correlations and consequences of this preceding stage dating from 1770 until the 1960s. This time frame was marked by endeavours to completely alter the indigenous culture. As mentioned before, they were always intertwined with an apathetic exploitation of Indigenous Australians’ work force which largely supported the economic ascent of "white" Australia.

The two fundamentally different concepts of the world of the British settlers and Indigenous Australians must first be outlined and compared in order to understand the damaging impact of colonization on Aboriginal culture and the different mentalities of the two peoples which some still see as the most important reason why Aborigines have remained on the fringes of Australia’s mainstream society.

 

1.1. Traditional Structures of Aboriginal Society

Aboriginal societies were traditionally organized in very small, semi-nomadic communities. All of these tiny hamlets occupied their own land, and in most cases spoke their own language or dialect. Aborigines all over the continent believed in what the Aranda tribe in Central Australia calls "alcheringa", a term that was later translated as "Dreamtime".6 The Dreamtime is the story of how the universe came to be, how human beings were created, and how the "creating spirits" (comparable with "God(s)" in other religions) gave the land to the humans and intended them to function within this cosmos. Every shape of the land - every mountain, rock, riverbed, and waterhole - has its own story of creation which is secretly passed on within each community from one generation to the next, verbally as well as enciphered from paintings.7
Even though these neighbourhoods were separated, a common agreement within Aboriginal societies was embodied. A quote from Meenamatla Everett best describes that unwritten contract: "Es war das Land, das die Grenzen schuf, nicht wir"8 - the territory of others, including their dreaming, was always respected.9 All aspects of life - religion, culture, food sources, or the determination of one’s position in society - were contained in a group’s land. Werner Bloch from the German newspaper "Die Zeit" confirms this and sets out that the culture cannot be separated from the land: "Die Kultur existiert nur im Bezug auf das Land. Deshalb war der Verlust des Territoriums durch die weiße Besiedlung und durch Übergriffe der Bergbauindustrie für die Aborigines auch so katastrophal."10 However, a more detailed explanation of the complex links between land, culture and social life would go too far beyond the core topic of this essay.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the role of the land in Aboriginal culture is of major importance to understanding how severely its dispossession through the European settlers affected the culture of Indigenous Australians. It is probably the most important factor in a chain of events which caused the loss of identity. Apart from that, it has been holding back the economic ascent of Aboriginal Australians.

The Aboriginal economic system was dominated by the aspiration for preservation and care. This "mode of production"11 coined the Aboriginal mentality which still runs through today’s Aboriginal society, in rural as well as in urban Australia. For generation after generation they secured their survival with a strong emphasis on the community rather than on the individual, unconditional help for and sharing with their fellow people and concentrating on the requirements of the moment rather than making plans for the future. Experts are convinced that this mentality nowadays also applies for the handling of money; it seems that for Indigenous Australians concepts such as saving and accounting are very difficult to understand and adapt even if they receive education in these fields. A more thorough treatment of this topic takes place in the essay’s last section, the interview with Svargo FREITAG.

 

1.2. The Impact of European Culture on the Lives of Indigenous Australians

When British colonization began in 1788 a foreign culture largely shaped by three things invaded the Red Continent: a strong Europe-centred arrogance, modern pseudo-scientific concepts, such as Social-Darwinism (this term can only really be used after the publication of James Darwin’s "The Origin of the Species" in 1859.12 However, similar beliefs, maybe not as "scientifically" founded, existed prior to that), and the greed to exploit nature for industrial innovation. Evidence for this ubiquitous blindness can be found even a decade after the arrival of the First Fleet in the writings of a Jesuit missionary from 1892 who stated that not only in Australia but also overseas the opinion prevailed that it was in God’s planning that the natives in Australia, as well as elsewhere, had to vanish from the British nation.13

In this context the results appear dreadfully logical. Not observing any economic activity, not even the slightest sign of exploitation of the land and its raw materials, yet seeing Indigenous tribes using tools that were on the same technological level as those from the European middle-ages, the settlers concluded that Aboriginal culture was on the lowest level of evolution. Most saw them as a "primitive savages"14. For example, D. Collins, a British lawyer, stated in 1796 that Aborigines were neither reasonable nor would they understand concepts such as "good" and "evil".15 Legally, Aborigines were, for a long time, even looked upon as part of the Australian fauna, not as being humans.16 The Australian continent was regarded as "Terra Nullius", as land which was unoccupied by humans, and thus, could legitimately be included into the British Empire.17 It was commonly believed and accepted that the primal species of Indigenous Australians was destined to be displaced by British civilization - sometimes by any means necessary.

Experts estimate that Australia counted between 300,000 and 1,000,000 inhabitants prior to the European invasion.18 By the end of the 19th century approximately 150,000 Aborigines were still alive; in 1930 the number had decreased to only 70,000.19
„Als alle Männer totgeschossen waren, nahm man die Weiber und Kinder aufs Korn, die sich ins Wasser geflüchtet hatten. Besonders gelobt wurde der Polizist, denn er traf mit jedem Schusse diejenige Person, die er sich heraus „gepickt" hatte."20
Such acts of violence draw a clear picture of how the lives of Aborigines were valued. However, they occurred relatively rarely. The severe decline can rather be explained, for example, through the import of foreign diseases from the European continent to Australia21, such as the flu. In the long-term, the repression of their pain with alcohol or the previously scarcely mentioned dispossession of their land had terrible consequences on the lives of surviving Indigenous Australians.

 

1.3. Segregation, Assimilation, Alienation

Based on the Terra-Nullius-hypothesis the seemingly unoccupied land was naturally claimed and altered for the agricultural needs of the Europeans. Hunting grounds of Aboriginal communities were being progressively diminished the more settlers arrived on the coastlines and expanded the frontiers. Cattle and sheep were introduced as well as many plants from foreign floras which destabilized the fragile Australian eco-system that had been isolated for thousands of years.

This, on the side of the Aborigines, and of course the "divine" task to civilize the primitive natives on the side of the British colonizers, caused a more actively led fight between the two peoples. For that reason, a policy of segregation or "protection" was put into practice. So called Chief Protectors were appointed, whose job it was to set up special reservations for Aborigines. In South Australia this concept was expressed in the Waste Land Act in 1842. According to this law, land could be given to indigenous people, provided it was not usable for agriculture.22 The destructive aim of this policy is pointed out by Ian HUGHES:
"The overt intention was to protect Aboriginal people from the harm done by contact with European society and culture. This was not intended, however, to provide for the restoration of the Aboriginal race and culture, which were seen as doomed, due to their inherent inferiority."23

In addition, more than 100,000 children of mixed-race were taken away from their Aboriginal communities and put into missions where they were forbidden to practice their customs or speak their language in order to assimilate them into white society.24 They received hardly any education and worked in the name of God for a loan that was promised but hardly ever paid-out. Many were married under duress to white Australians. The method was called "to breed out the black race" or "f---ing them white".25
"Die Missionare behandelten uns so schlecht. Sie fesselten die Leute an Bäume, peitschten sie aus, nur weil sie davonlaufen und ihre Eltern suchen wollten."
"Ich war 18 Jahre lang die Frau eines Farmers. Ich machte die Arbeit so gut, wie ich konnte, musste aber so tun, als wäre ich jemand anders. Ich konnte mich nicht wie eine Schwarze benehmen. Ich war sehr, sehr unglücklich. (…) Er sagte, "(…) Du siehst aus wie eine Aborigine Hure." "Das bin ich doch" erwiderte ich."26
Today, this episode of the past is called "the Stolen Generations" which at this place can only act as a scarce keyword to a sad chapter of Australian history.

As an effect of the resettlement and the events of the Stolen Generations, many Aborigines died of starvation, in the process of relocation or through acts of violence. Whole cultures and tales from the dreaming vanished with the extinction of communities, or were forgotten as all traditions, customs and skills were never written down but passed on orally. The only thing Aborigines ever possessed - their culture - was pushed to the fall line and often beyond it.

The mental and territorial control of Aborigines through the creation of reservations that were supervised by white Chief Protectors, and the education and assimilation into western society of mixed-race Aboriginal children in missions is the core reason for the extensive destruction of their culture. Gary Foley, a radical Aborigine, even compares the procedures to achieve extensive control over Indigenous Australians with Nazi concentration camps in World War II.27 The definition of genocide by the UN officially confirms his allegations28 and when looking at the following description of the practices carried out by white Australians the last doubts about Gary Foley’s drastic comparison should have departed:
"Weiße Sozialarbeiter [...] tauchten in Camps der Aborigines auf, trieben die Kinder zusammen, trennten diejenigen mit heller Hautfarbe von den anderen, verfrachteten die Ausgewählten auf Lastwagen und transportierten sie ab."29

What is certain is that the loss of culture created a situation where it was, and still is, extremely difficult for Aborigines to find a way of identifying themselves with the country and the society they grow up in and to have a perspective that makes a successful life within this new environment seem worthwhile or at least possible if they make the right effort.
"Most Aborigines in Australia have a very low self esteem. Aborigines depend on a very strong connection to the land and the white policy of taking Aborigines away from their land into Christian missions in other parts of the country has resulted in Aborigines feeling disconnected, lost and without direction in their li[ves]. There are many drunken Aborigines in many Australian cities and towns who have lost their spirit."30

Thus, the oppression, destruction and in many cases extinction of Aboriginal culture throughout more than the first century of British colonisation directly affect the developments during the 20th century and help to understand certain aspects of the situation today.

 

Chapter two: Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes

The examination of the exploitation of Aboriginal culture has now reached the trunk of the metaphorical tree that was depicted in the prologue. The following passages at first answer the introducing question "how did the transition from oppression to exploitation of Aboriginal culture occur?". They continue by putting the economic relevance of the Aboriginal Industry for the Australian economy into perspective and distinguishing the great opportunities as well as the far reaching problems borne within. This serves as the basis for the main part of this chapter, the evaluation of the various different facets of exploitation of Aboriginal culture mainly in the fields of art and tourism. In order to discuss practical solutions in chapter four the circumstances which nurture the fertile soil on which exploitation of indigenous culture can grow upon will be examined; in other words, the social status of Aboriginal Australians. At the same time, it is important to have a look at what measures the Australian government has taken to attack the problems and its roots in the past, what new issues have derived from these political and juridical approaches and how determined the exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes is counteracted.

 

2.1. Transition from oppression to exploitation - the commercialization of Aboriginal culture

Wandjina rock painting at the KimberleyBasically for the whole 19th century the reaction towards Aboriginal culture including their art was typically like Sir George Grey’s when he was the first to see Wandjina drawings at the Kimberley in 1837. He considered it impossible that they could come from Aborigines - their art was regarded as primitive, poor and pathetic.31 For that reason, there was hardly any intention to preserve Aboriginal culture because it did not fit into James Cook’s initial task: It wasn’t economically useful. Thus, the transition from oppression to exploitation of Aboriginal culture only occurred as Europeans gradually recognized the commercial value of its crafts, arts and customs. That was when more and more museums of ethnology were founded in Europe and Australia by the turn of the 19th century and a market for Indigenous art was created.32 Especially spears, boomerangs, ceremonial items
and ironically those very stone tools which served the first settlers as evidence for Aboriginal primitiveness were desired and scored top prices amongst collectors.33

 

2.2. Market overview - the Importance of the Aboriginal Industry

 A foreign visitor at-tempting to play a Didgeridoo in an Aboriginal arts and crafts shopy.In order to provide a general overview of the weight of the industry associated with Indigenous tourism, arts and crafts within the Australian economy an analysis of statistical data published by Tourism Australia will find use here. For reasons of clarity, domestic tourists will be excluded from examination since they only account for a negligible share of participation in activities linked to Aboriginal culture. Thus, we will solely focus on international visitors.
829,000 (or 16%) of the latter group participated in Indigenous tourism activities in 2005, 88% of whom experienced Indigenous arts and crafts and 39% visiting an Indigenous site or community. Including sales to domestic visitors, exports to overseas and other forms of trade the Indigenous art industry is "worth an estimated A$200 million a year to the Australian economy" (note that branches like tourism, music and others are not included in this number).34 In the March quarter 2006, 45% of the total expenditure of international visitors was spent in retail shops followed by galleries receiving 38% and festivals and markets with 10%. Major urban cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth were the main centres of trade, attributing to two thirds of all money spent. About 90% of international visitors who did not have an experience with Aboriginal culture indicated that for future trips they would be interested in participating in Indigenous tourism activities. From these statistics one can conclude four thoughts of importance to identifying the opportu-
nities as well as the problems Indigenous Australians and their culture are facing
through its commercialization: 35

  • Indigenous economy is of relatively big importance to the Australian economy, and furthermore, has been growing remarkably over the past ten to fifteen years36. This trend applies for souvenirs as well as for high quality art.37 The prospects for the future of this industry appear bright as the difference between the interest of visitors in Indigenous culture and their actual participation can be interpreted as a room for improvement and further development. Prices in the fields of art, craft, tourism and many other have risen accordingly to the increasing demand. Therefore, the branch potentially bears great opportunities for Indigenous Australians to express and promote their culture genuinely and eventually climb Australia’s social ladder.
  • There is, however, a great misbalance between rural- and urban Australia. This is due to an insufficient infrastructure, particularly in Australia’s Red Centre. The industry’s growth in this area "is limited by a lack of conservation storage and marketing facilities."38 Thus, Aborigines living in rural Australia are more vulnerable to become - or rather to stay - trapped in the viscous circle of poverty. In the following sections several examples will be cited which prove that particularly Aborigines from these remote areas and low social positions fall prey to unethical and sometimes illegal practices of unfair businessmen.
  • Particularly in the trade of Indigenous arts and crafts there is a great deal of exploitation occurring. In what forms they surface will be dealt with in the following part. However, one needs to mention with reference to the statistics given that particularly retailers may receive their goods from unethical producers who manufacture cheap and unauthentic ware. The profit from these sales can be a hazard to the economic survival of genuine Aboriginal artists, not to mention that such misinterpretation of their culture is considered extremely offensive.
  • Only a relatively small amount of international visitors experiences Indigenous tourism activities. Furthermore, those who do make the experience often do not come in contact with Indigenous people by solely buying merchandise from souvenir shops. Thus, knowledge about Indigenous culture is generally relatively poor. This in fact is the first bead in a chain of problems which are going to be explained in the following section.

 

2.3. Four Facets of the Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture for Economic Purposes

2.3.1. Australia’s "Takeaway-Tourism"-Industry

"die Aborigines [gehören] zwar zu den bekanntesten, aber auch zu den am wenigsten verstandenen Menschen der Welt […]. [...] In den Prospekten der Tourismusbranche stehen sie an zentraler Stelle, als etwas, dass man gesehen haben muss"39. These are the words which Gerhard Leitner uses on the first pages of his book "Die Aborigines Australiens" to describe the often shallow and superficial character of Australia’s commercialized Aboriginal culture. There are several approaches to explaining why the fascinating culture of Indigenous Australians is often diminished for the purposes of mass tourism. Probably the most convincing one is based on a range of Indigenous tourism strategy surveys. Just like any other industry, the tourism industry too needs to adapt its offers to the demand of its customers. Thus, the surveys’ common aim was to identify interests and preferences of tourists in Australia, in particular respecting activities concerning Aboriginal culture. Although the overall summary points out that apparently, in general, "interaction and authenticity were important aspects of an Aboriginal tourism experience"40 one of the studies shows that tourists throughout all nationalities and age groups "wanted to have this experience within 2 hours of a city, for a half or full day and it should involve a tour guide that spoke the traveller’s own language"41. Generally, Aboriginal tourism experiences are regarded as "desirable but not essential"42. For 82% of international visitors questioned in an inquiry made by Tourism Australia in 2005, making an Indigenous experience was not a major factor in the decision to travel to Australia.43 This finding is supported by the outcomes of the China Strategy Study. Among the ten most popular activities one cannot find a single one associated with Aboriginal culture. Even "Attend an Australian style BBQ" (67% extremely / very interested) was ranked higher than the most popular Aboriginal activity ("Taste Aboriginal food", 60%). Further down the list one could even find "See Aboriginal people" (55%) listed as an "Activit[y] Tested".44 All this clearly confirms Gerhard Leitner’s thesis from the beginning.
Just like McDonalds offers cheap food, quickly served and consumed and easily available in order to meet the customers’ demands, the Australian tourism industry serves "takeaway-tourism" to visitors lacking time and often genuine interest. There are two problems here: customers do not inform themselves about the products they are purchasing which makes it easy for non-Aboriginal businessmen to enter the lucrative branch of Indigenous arts and crafts, flooding the market with bogus replicas. Current legislation again makes it possible for them to falsely label their products "Aboriginal" art and deceive customers furthermore. The world’s largest store for authentic Didgeridoos45, The Didjshop, has been experiencing the effects of the dubious competition: "most shops and didgeridoo merchants find it easier to get supplies from white didgeridoo makers, who are willing to commit to supplying what customers want, when they want it."46

One can identify a trend that tourists generally buy artworks and crafts which express Aboriginal culture as it is perceived by them (which due to their lack of knowledge about Aboriginal culture is often superficially) and most wanting to spend no more than $10 to $5047. Thus, many traders lowered the price for their products by either importing "Aboriginal" art from Indonesia where Didgeridoos are offered for about A$10 to A$20 (which is about one tenth of the price Aboriginal artists would receive from a fair business)48 or reducing the manufacturing process to a minimum of time and effort. On the bottom of the page a comparison of two Didge-ridoos is added to this section. Nowadays, Didgeridoos like the one shown in the lower row are predominantly sold to tourists. They are fabricated out of man-made, carved out trunks of eucalypt trees or bamboo rather than out of naturally hollowed out ones by termites.49 Alternatively, so called "cutters" industrially fell immense numbers of trees, use the hollow ones and do not care about the environmental consequences.
"Often highly motivated to make lots of money, these cutters have economies of scale rather than quality and a lack of environmental conscience which help keep their prices low. They may cut many hundreds of trees within a small area to maximize immediate cash returns - even though this way of harvesting is unsustainable in the long term. There's a real danger of Aborigines being progressively squeezed out of the didjeridu industry by ruthless non-Aboriginal people [aiming at] quick profits."50
Today experts estimate that less than 10% of Didgeridoos are made by Aborigines.51 "The vast majority of Aboriginal art products are not made by Aboriginal people, nor does any money from the sale of these items go to the Aboriginal people. It is an exploitation of Aboriginal culture."52 They demand compulsory labelling for all Aboriginal arts53 and most importantly the ban of all imports of so called "Aboriginal" art from Asian countries.54 The benefits of such legislation will be outlined in the interview with Svargo FREITAG. However, it has become clear that through Australia’s takeaway-tourism with Aboriginal culture Indigenous artists are being spiritually offended as well as economically harmed.

Comparison of two Didjes

 

2.3.2. "artistic terra nullius"55 - Violation of Copyrights

Western Desert underpantsThe issue of infringements of copyrights has been slightly touched by the previous paragraph. However, it is worth expanding on the topic of so called "spin-offs"56. This term describes the unauthorised reproduction of traditional Dreamtime designs, as explained on the homepage of one of the pioneer projects to fight this kind of exploitation of Indigenous culture, the House of Aboriginality. Dr. Vivien JOHNSON who is professor of Sociology at Sydney Macquarie University and the founder of this initiative has been gathering hundreds of items violating copyrights, and even more importantly, the ethics of Indigenous Australians. The House of Aboriginality was born when she realised that these pseudo-Aboriginal products, ranging from carpets over
pens and umbrella stands to toilet roll holders, were enough to furnish an entire
home. Probably the most horrific item in the collection is the "Western Desert underpants". On the homepage the impact on the feelings of Aborigines becomes apparent:
"Items like the Western Desert underpants or the 'Aboriginal look' toilet roll holder convey powerful images of the bastardisation of Indigenous cultures."57
"For the Aboriginal painters of Central Australia […], these symbols are sacred and denote Dreaming sites and ancestral journeys. Is their application to the decoration of men's underwear a cruel joke, or just another unthinking act of artistic plagiarism?"58

For decades these acts of discrimination have been known. In the 1970s a case about the exhibition of the Rirratjingu people’s most sacred and secret paintings in a national gallery and the unauthorised printing of bark paintings on a variety of souvenirs caused great controversy. A member of the community went to speak to members of the Australian Council for the Arts. When he presented a towel and a tablecloth depicting images sacred to the Rirratjingu he said "All these are my tribe’s stories." "These things must not be seen. If they are my people will die."59
The House of Aboriginality’s lounge room – 100% furnished with pseudo-Aboriginal goods.These words reflect an extent of emotional stress that white people cannot understand. One of the people the Indigenous man was trying to convince sought words for the ignorance of many white Australians: "After all,
they’re only bark paintings by boongs, not real paintings by proper ar-
tists. The tea-towel tycoon wouldn’t realise that this is far more than a
simple breach of copyright, far more than a minor act of vandalism."60
However, Dr. JOHNSON points out the great difficulty of prosecuting busi-
nesses producing pseudo-Aboriginal goods be-cause by vaguely imi-
tating styles and images of Aboriginal art it is often unclear if they are
actually violating copyrights. "Stereotyped and degraded versions of the original sacred designs are employed in the knowledge that there is no law of sacrilege that can be invoked against them."61 This judgement is supported by a statement by Megan BUCKLEY, the coordinator of an art centre in Western Australia: "because the activities are immoral rather than illegal it’s very hard […] to crack down on artists’ exploitation."62 Obviously, western judicial standards are not compatible with Aboriginal ethics. Thus, the only way of tackling dubious dealers is by promoting genuine Indigenous arts and informing tourists about the great issues which the purchase of something so seemingly trivial as a tablecloth might bear within.

 

2.3.3. Feeding the stereotype - Aborigines, art and alcohol

Ill. 20: Hetti PerkinsThe stereotype of the poorly educated, drunk Aborigine is well-rooted in the minds of most Australians. For too long they have been blamed for solely being responsible for the shocking condition which, truly, many of them are in. But when speaking of the truth one should not miss to mention that there have been numerous cases where white traders were exploiting Aborigines not only damaging their self-esteem, but also putting their health at danger and deliberately forming helot-like workers. Private dealers go into communities where Indigenous Australians are in a disadvantaged financial and educational position, at best offering "very small amounts of money for work that would fetch much higher prices."63 At worst, however, Aboriginal artists who paint for these slick businessmen either receive no pay at all or - and that is even worse - they get alcohol, cigarettes or drugs in exchange for their work.64 The artists themselves agree on such deals for various reasons. They either put trust in the dealer’s promises which is later betrayed, they need fast cash to pay urgent bills, or drugs and alcohol to ease their pains or satisfy their addictions, or they are even forced through physical threats of violence.65 Hetti PERKINS, an Aboriginal artist who lives and works in rural Australia, calls these deceiving promises and intimidations "criminal" and she is appalled of the government having been hesitant to intervene, saying "it is long overdue for someone to really take a look at the industry." The need for governmental intervention is further amplified by her estimation about how widespread these foul practises are: "The market is so determined by the price of things that the moral and ethical issues really don’t get a look in. (…) unfortunately, it’s in 90% of the cases."66 (author’s emphasis)

Ill. 21: Drawing of Aborigines abusing substancesThe situation appears hopeless. Chronic poverty brings about desperation and alcohol or drug abuse; that again causes dependency on private dealers and vulnerability to their ill-treatment and finally leads to more precarious poverty and further increased depen-dency, through addiction for example. However, this essay will examine ways to escape this vicious circle in chapter four. Generally, the link between Indige-nous Australians’ social issues, their mentality and the exploitation of their cul-ture must be strongly emphasised. At this stage, one can already scarcely conclude that not only needs the Aboriginal Industry to be regulated through federal bodies but the government must also commit itself to the improvement of the social position of Australia’s Indigenous people and take their very different mentality into consideration when working out programs. This will become even more apparent in the following subchapters.

 

2.3.4. Exploitation of education

The final facet of the issue of exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes which shall be outlined in this essay is particularly interesting for two reasons. Firstly, not the culture itself is the target of exploitation but rather a means for the purpose of deception and economical exploitation. Secondly, it consists of only very few single cases which all together amount to a sneaking trend whose disastrous effects cannot only be interpreted from statistics but can rather be seen in each community befallen, every member being a victim of capitalistic greed and still existing discrimination. It might not appear to be a facet as crucial to the economic status of Aboriginal people if one uses the amount of money involved as a scale. However, it reveals the most ruthless, immoral and blatant form of conscious deceit which is presently taken out on Indigenous Australians.

"Every year brings a new wave of unscrupulous salesmen to the Outback" Mark CHIPPERFIELD wrote in a 2001 issue of The Daily Telegraph. Far away from any protecting or controlling body they "use alcohol, threats and various forms of chicanery to obtain signatures on hire purchase documents" from members of remote Aboriginal communities with which they oblige them to buy gourmet cooking utensils, mail-order cars or expensive vacuum cleaners. Members of an Aboriginal community located near Alice Spring, for instance, were driven into spending A$250,000 on the latter. This is even harder to believe when considering that most of them lived under such poor conditions that, for the majority, even electricity was not at their disposal. "Some of them don’t even have houses, they sleep in dry river beds with their dogs."

However, this case is even topped by the practices of an American insurance company which sent out their agents all over Australia. The result: policies taken out by 18 Indigenous communities "covering them against accidents involving travel by aircraft, monorail, bus, train, tram or in a lift." Since the 1990s there have been prosecutions against three more companies of that kind which proves that these practices are systematic and well-organised. Not only do they drive Aboriginal communities into complete bankruptcy but they are also an expression of racial discrimination like a spokesman of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) points out: "It is completely outrageous. In the old days they [whites] gave us beads and blankets for our land; 200 years later we’re still seen as a soft target."67

Again, it is very difficult to press charges against such practices because it is difficult to retrace how signatures were obtained. Representatives of large businesses with well-planned selling strategies stand against poorly-educated and confused members of a small, remote Aboriginal community. It is always easy to show that their methods are immoral. All the harder it is to prove that they are also illegal.

 

2.4. The Interlinkage between Social Issues of Aboriginal Australians and the Exploitation of their Culture

In his book "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time" Jeffrey D. SACHS, "the world’s leading economic advisor"68, emphasises the interactions between a well-working education-, health- and law system and economic success. "Die relativ Armen in Ländern mit hohem Einkommen haben keinen Zugang zu Kulturgütern, (…) guter ärztlicher Versorgung, zu Bildung und anderen Voraussetzungen sozialen Aufstiegs."69 He comes to the conclusion that an economic ascent can only be achieved if a sound social basis is provided. For the issue of exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes that means that not only by securing copyrights and regulating the industry the problem can be solved but also the government must put great effort into providing a well-working educational system for young Aborigines, adequate housing for their families, a health network offering thorough treatment as well as information, for example about a balanced nutrition or the consequences of substance abuse, a law system considering the values of Indigenous Australians and the incompatibilities of native and western culture, and finally a strong and respected political voice for Aborigines. The government’s annual expenditure on Aborigines has risen massively from A$23 million to A$3.1 billion between 1971 and today.70 However, the past decade has shown that a lot of this budget was invested inefficiently due to missing concepts and thorough research considering the complex interaction between a variety of social, cultural, economic and many other factors. Thus, it must be strongly emphasized once again: neglecting any one of the issues mentioned at the beginning of this section means not thoroughly solving the socio-economic crisis of Indigenous Australians, and thus not bringing the exploitation of Aboriginal culture to an end.
"(…) there seems to be a great deal of interlinkage between social and economic aspects, and there is the appearance of a cycle of poverty: most piecemeal policies which have aimed to improve Aboriginal standards (for example, in education or employment) have been hampered in their impact by other features such as poor health and housing conditions."71

More information to this particular cause of exploitation of Aboriginal culture can be taken from the presentation added on the CD-ROM in the appendix.

 

2.5. The Pendulum Swings - the Role of the Government

Over the past paragraphs the question about the role of the government in the issue of exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes has often been asked, but so far, it has not clearly been answered. The roots of the disadvantaged situation of Indigenous people in Australia including the era of assimilation up until the 1960s have been outlined in chapter one. At this place, an extremely brief and often generalizing overview of governmental intervention will be provided. This is essential in order to forecast the future tendencies of policy towards the rights of Indigenous artists and, building up from this, to find practical, effective and realistic solutions for the future.

 

2.5.1. The Two Major Parties in Australia

Ill. 23: Logo of the Liberal PartyIn Australia there are two main political blocks. The Coalition is the centre-right block with the Liberal Party at its core. The other major party on the other side of the political spectrum is the Australian Labor Party (ALP). For ten years now, Australia has been governed by John Howard from the Liberal Party. Accordingly to his party’s major economic priority, free enterprise, he is opposing the policy of self-determination and the increase of Indigenous rights, in particular Aboriginal land rights which harm the interests of farmers and big mining companies. Ill.25: Logo of the ALPBy contrast, the ALP initiated the turnaround from the policy of assimilation of Aborigines into mainstream Australia to self-determination in the early 1970s. The party dramatically increased the budget for Indigenous affairs and supported the legislation for Aboriginal land rights. Since the two major parties in Australia are such antipodes the development of Indigenous rights greatly depends on the respective party in power.

For Aboriginal artists protective and regulative laws are of great importance in fighting the exploitation of their culture. However, their economic status is also intertwined with their social situation, which can be altered through government funding, and their spiritual, or in a western sense psychological, wellbeing for which land rights play a major role. A short list of laws concerning these aspects will be presented in the following part:

 

2.5.2. Protection of Copyrights

The unauthorised inclusion of a bark painting by an Aboriginal artist on the back of the then Australian dollar note in 1966 caused great controversy and led to the recognition of Aboriginal art copyrights in 1968.72 Amongst others the law guarantees "the right to not have the work treated in a derogatory manner (this is a right to protect the honour and reputation of the author)"73. The immediate effects of the Copyright Act, however, are judged critically by Dr. Vivien JOHNSON: "it has taken another quarter of a century for the rights (…) to be taken seriously."74 Most of the time, Indigenous Australians’ poor education, the lack of knowledge about their rights and the feeble support from the government made the law ineffective.

Ill. 26: The Australian one dollar note from 1966Only now that the media has become increasingly aware of these issues politicians have finally, however hesitantly, shown willingness to support Aborigines in their struggle and to fight ongoing violation through the unregulated commerce of Aboriginal culture.
The Federal Arts Minister, Rod Kemp from the Liberal Party, stated in various interviews earlier in 2006 he was discussing plans for an investigation of criminal activity and exploitation in the Indigenous art industry and considered a mandatory national code of conduct requiring dealers to be licensed.75 Dr. Vivien JOHNSON puts pressure on politicians such as Rod Kemp with statements far more consequent than that.
"[…] there needs to be more regulation of the industry than there is now because there have been abuses and exploitation within the industry over the last decade [.] […] there are people… who have a kind of a gold rush mentality who just see that there’s money to be made and who are basically exploiting a group of people who are not particularly well educated…who are not in the position, necessarily understand the ins and outs of business."76

 

2.5.3. Aboriginal Land Rights

In 1976 the Aboriginal Land Rights Act opened the door for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to officially restore sovereignty over their territory by presenting evidence of their traditional occupation.77 The handback of Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, to the Anangu people in 1985 is seen as the most outstanding case where the so called "Native Title" was awarded through its tremendous media coverage, its spiritual meaning and, not to forget, its economic importance. In 1958 when the area’s potential for marketing of tourism was recognized the two sacred sites of Uluru and the closely located Katja Tjuta ("The Olgas") were excised from an Aboriginal reserve and declared as a tourist and wildlife resort.78 Motels and an airport were built, and consequently, more and more visitors streamed into the area. As a result, the integrity of Anangu culture was threatened as, for example, Aborigines in the area felt their laws and customs violated by visitors. Furthermore, on a materialistic basis, members of the Anangu community were forced into labour as lowly paid motel domestic staff or "mascots" for tours where their culture was often ignored or misinterpreted.79

Ill.28: Handback ceremony in 1985Even though the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed in 1976 it took another nine years before the Anangu people were awarded with the official title deeds. The law was finally interpreted in favour of the area’s Indigenous population after the newly elected ALP Prime Minister had sided with Aborigines in their cause. This turning point demonstrates well the government’s power over Aboriginal Australians’ destiny. It was primarily brought about by the change of the reigning party. For Aboriginal artists the handback of their sacred land meant that on the one hand they were not burdened with paying a lease to the state government anymore for a shop they had established in the area in 1972 where they sold groceries to the Indigenous population and arts and crafts to tourists, but now they even received desperately needed money from a government lease.

Similar economically beneficial developments set in in communities where mining companies operated on land which was returned to the Aboriginal people through the changed legislation. However, it was only in 1996 that the conflict between Aboriginal land rights and existing leases of mining companies or farmers was solved in the so called "Wik"-case in favour of the Aborigines.80 Today, the leasing scheme is the solution which is commonly agreed on, even though there are obvious ethical concerns of many Aboriginal Australians.

 Ill. 29: Eddie MaboAustralian-wide the regulations of the Northern Territory Land Rights Act were not put into practice for another 16 years. After all instances were gone through, the Australian High Court made a groundbreaking decision in the famous "Mabo"-case in 1992: it officially declared that the Terra-Nullius-hypothesis was illegitimate.81 For Indigenous Australians the decision meant that they were now able to obtain the so called Native Title under similar provisions as were required in the Land Rights Act. However, it is ironic that 222 years after the arrival of James Cook this change had to be made by a court decision.

 

2.5.4. Marginality of Aboriginal Power in Politics

Ill. 30: ATSIC logoOne reason that explains why all mentioned laws and court decision took decades to be carried out with determination and why many of them proved ineffective, is, of course, the marginality of Aboriginal Australians‘ political power. In 1990 aspirations to raise their political voice were supported by the Labor government by creating ATSIC as a "virtual parallel government to dispense welfare payments, create jobs and improve health, housing and education."82 For that cause, a yearly budget of A$600 million (less than one fifth of the government’s total budget) was at its disposal.83 Ill. 31: A cartoon depicting John Howard burying ATSICAfter 15 years of existence the commission was abolished in 2005 by John Howard because it apparently "failed to improve the lives of ordinary aborigines."84 Many Aboriginal leaders, however, see in this move an attempt to win votes from farmers and miners who have become nervous due to recent court decision favouring the land claims of Aborigines, and furthermore, an act of racial discrimination which "would set back their cause by 50 years."85 In other words, this means that Aborigines are facing a policy of assimilation rather than of self-determination once again.86 This opinion is supported by the Prime Minister’s decision not to replace ATSIC by a democratically elected representative body but by a government-appointed advisory panel. Experts agree that a "hand-picked advisory body"87 of mainstreamed Aborigines who are neither legitimized nor respected by the majority of their people "can never be the voice for indigenous Australia over the long term."88

 

2.5.5. Forwards to the Past - the Political Course towards Aborigines in the 21st Century

As a reply to the allegations of the Indigenous population the so called "Shared Responsibility Agreements" (SRA) were introduced by the Howard Government under the banner of Aboriginal self-determination.89 The term describes the intended equal cooperation between Aboriginal communities and federal bodies to solve social and structural problems in these communities. However, critics have numerous concerns about the program and place it among the traditional Liberal policy of paternalism and assimilation. They are convinced that SRAs have actually "reduced Indigenous involvement in decision-making over Indigenous program funding (previously administered by ATSIC within an Indigenous-controlled and culturally appropriate framework)." The government is "pitting under-resourced and effectively powerless local communities against the Federal government via mainstream departments."90 Their critique peaks with the accusation of SRAs being "racially discriminatory"91 and the current policy towards Indigenous Australians being "a structured plan to kill off Indigenous self-determination."92

The situation at the end of 2006 is that Prime Minister John Howard’s policy towards an improvement of the socio-economic status of Aboriginal Australians is, to put it mildly, reluctant. Indigenous Australians are restlessly looking into an uncertain future when they hear their head of state proclaiming his position towards Aboriginal rights: "[…] the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of the Aboriginal community and what I seek to do is to bring the pendulum back to the centre."93

For the future one can only hope that the public opinion which has developed n favor of Indigenous Australians over recent years will also influence politicians in their agendas, indifferent which party they belong to. The huge success of the band Midnight Oil, for instance, demonstrates that the criticism towards white Australia in songs such as the world-famous "Beds Are Burning" is widely shared amongst many young and mid-age Australians:

"The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share
The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back"94

 

Chapter three: Tjukaruru nyangatja. - That Is How It Should Be.95

The preceding chapter drew a dark and disillusioning picture of the general situation of Australia’s native people. In this chapter, however, it will be shown how the improvement of a community’s social status and the development towards a sustainable, self-determinated life style can be achieved. The initial impulse for the advancement in the following case was set off through the granting of land rights to the Anangu people in 1985 whose struggle for the Native Title was already outlined in section 2.5. Their community was provided with a sound foundation through the return of their land from which several community members were able to set up independent businesses in a variety of economic branches in the consecutive years. These included cafeterias, art galleries, cultural centres or even a truck company which collects art from more than 20 communities in order to sell them at the touristic junction of Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park.96 Thus, many were able to successfully gain hold on the first rung of the social ladder which now they are able to climb further up.

Anangu Tours, a booming tourism company is a prime example representing all the other businesses founded since the day of handback. It is completely owned by the Indigenous population which assures that the profits flow into local projects. Aboriginal guides offer trips around Uluru in particular paying great attention to their native culture. Visitors are educated about the Indigenous people’s original way of life, including their natural food sources, hunting techniques and religious cults, as well as about the spiritual and historical meaning of the site and the age-old art that can be found all around the rock’s walls.97 Gerhard SIMON points out the great opportunities of business strategies like these when he supposes:
"Vielleicht bietet ja gerade der oft so gescholtene Tourismus als eine der Wachstumsbranchen der Zukunft vielfältige Möglichkeiten für Aborigines, an ihre stolze und wertvolle Vergangenheit anzuknüpfen und dieser eine Zukunft zurückzuerobern."98
The Anangu people are successfully trading on the enormous growth of tourism in Australia and are furthermore promoting their culture authentically and as something unique and very vital, as opposed to the image many international and domestic tourists have of Aborigines as uncultivated drunk-heads, lazybones and criminals. Of course, the changed perspective on Aboriginal culture has positive flow-on effects on a whole range of fields. The trade with authentic Aboriginal art benefits because educated visitors are more willing to spend money on more expensive but in turn authentic arts and crafts. Aborigines themselves regain a lot of their formerly lost self-esteem which takes away the root of substance abuse. Obviously this leads to further positive developments in fields of health, employment and the reduction of criminality. Again, one finds that economic and psychological emancipation are closely correlated.
Anangu Tours is interesting for yet another reason. It is led by a white manager, Laurrie BERRYMAN. Entirely lacking experience in accounting and other financial skills, the Aboriginal population could have hardly set up a tourism enterprise solely by themselves. This hierarchy is far from being patronizing; Laurrie BERRYMAN respects his fellow people and identifies himself with their suffering in the past: "Es geht nicht um Geld, sondern um Leben und Tod. Wer uns das Land wegnimmt, nimmt uns auch unser Leben."99 His know-how is a chance for the Anangu people to adapt certain management skills and become equals; not only legally but also in terms of training, knowledge and working position. Thus, the business is bridging the gap between Aboriginal self-determination on their own land and economic activity promoted by white Australia. In fact, it is a form of shared responsibility, however between black and white Australians as equals who are willing to listen and learn from one another and not between a paternalist government and a dependant, powerless Indigenous community. The assumption that both sides desire an equally shared responsibility finds support by a statement from the official information booklet every visitor of Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park is given: "Nganana tjungu waakaripai, piranpa munu maru, palu purunypa. - We are working together, white and black, equal."100

Ill. 36: The official tourist booklet containing all the necessary information to respect Uluru as a sacred place.There is one fact, however, which completely disrupts the positive picture of the apparently so self-determinated Anangu people: "there are still tourists walking up on top of Uluru every single day," as Svargo FREITAG remarks with a tone of disbelief and resentment. "That is totally…absolutely against Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal people don’t want tourists to go up there but because of the massive pressure by all the tourist companies and the government they still allow it." This, of course, puts Anangu Tours and the power of the Indigenous community over their own land into a very different perspective. Compared to all the other tourism enterprises heading for the sacred site the share of visitors participating in tours of the Indigenous business is tiny. And to make it even worse, the logics of tourism are to prevent the visitors from having a bad conscience about their holidays. For that reason, information about the ethical concerns is kept to the minimum. Each company does have to hand out an information booklet to all their visitors about the National Park which mentions these concerns but in many cases they distribute them shortly before the tourists are shoved off the bus so that no-one actually has the time to read the information. The "explicit" advice that Aborigines oppose "the climb" is hurriedly mumbled half annoyed and half with indifference.

 

Ill. 37: Two tourists lying in a small puddle on top of Uluru."I didn’t know about the impact of my behaviour at the time because our tour guide avoided it to inform us about the site’s meaning to Aboriginal people and how tourists like us were violating their spirituality."(Thomas Scheele, right)

Clearly, the overall situation of the Anangu people has improved since 1985. However, influential tourism lobbies and the government seem to have deliberately created, what Ian HUGHES calls one of his essays, a "dependant autonomy." Obviously, real, unrestricted self-determination which, not only in this particular case, is the same as the end of exploitation of Aboriginal culture is not compatible with the economic agenda which companies and politics are pursuing.

 

Chapter four: Steps towards an End of the Economic Exploitation of Aboriginal Culture

In each chapter new roots and correlations of the exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes were being presented. These can be roughly separated into three groups:
First of all, the current situation is a product of the past, Australia’s history. The dispossession of the land and the dislocation of Aboriginal communities, in particular, removed the economic basis and damaged the psychological health of Aboriginal Australians. The racial discrimination these acts were justified with are still rooted in parts of Australian society even today which can be seen in land rights issues where many Australians strongly oppose the abolition of the Terra-Nullius-hypothesis.
Thus, in the two centuries between the arrival of the First Fleet and the beginning of the era of reconciliation and self-determination in the late 1960s Aboriginal social issues were not counteracted and stagnated through the causal correlation of psychological and economic factors. Indigenous Australians were not provided with the necessary education to get a job and even if they were they were aimless in life which amplified their hostility towards schools. Even though the government then began to take actions the situation did not alter greatly and the issues continued in the manner of a viscous circle. These provisions made Aboriginal artists become vulnerable to the immoral and sometimes criminal practices of exploitation of white Australian private dealers.
However, even if Indigenous artists know about the dangers of cooperating with these businessmen it is very difficult for them to sell their art because of four things: The insufficient infrastructure in rural Australia, the consumer behaviour of tourists tending to orientate on prices rather than authenticity, falling production costs through more efficient but unauthentic manufacturing processes or the import of imitations from Asian countries, and lastly the inadequate legislation which does not regulate the import of unauthentic products and allows dealers to deceivingly label all products "Aboriginal art". There is no law protecting Aboriginal art styles from usage for misinterpreted or even offensive goods. Only in very few cases the Copyright Act comes in effect.

How can one attack all these issues effectively? First of all, one needs to divide this heap of interdependent problems into for categories; three of which allow to develop programs based on experience from other western societies and one which gives the problem a totally new dimension: the first three are psychological, social and economic issues; the fourth is the apparent incompatibility of Aboriginal mentality with western capitalistic society.
The very complex interlinkage within each of the first three fields as well as between them was already touched in this essay and is furthermore dealt with on the CD-Rom attached in the Appendix which is especially dedicated to this phenomenon. This last concluding section will rather put the focus on the relationship between these "western" factors and the very individual and in most cases underemphasised factor of Aboriginal mentality.
One stylized example of a common situation will show this relationship: "If I am hungry, I go out and hunt a kangaroo. I do not have to go out now and get half a dozen kangaroos and put five in the freezer", illustrates Svargo FREITAG the traditional attitude of Aboriginal Australians, "And that applies to money for them." Aborigines live life on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to making plans for the future and saving in order to make ends meet when the electricity bill flies into the letterbox. The government’s approach of distributing welfare money every two weeks to Aborigines was thus bound to fail because, as Svargo FREITAG points out, the day they receive the money, "that money is spent." As a result, these people are likely to have nothing left when the electricity bill is due. When this moment arrives they will try to get the money necessary to cover the bill as quickly as possible. That is when they once again become a soft target for unethical dealers.
There are two sides from which this regularly reoccurring conflict needs to be taken on. One is from a western standpoint that these people need to participate in a special education program where they are taught saving schemes, accounting skills and which indoctrinates them such basic behaviour as, for example, keeping a receipt. The other side is to slightly modify the welfare distribution under consideration of the special mentality of Aborigines by "not paying social money in a lump sum every two weeks but to pay a little bit every day."
This example which contained a correlation of various different categories of issues forming a chain of problems as well as a probable solution combining a common western with an Aborigine-tailored approach makes two things become apparent. The first is that one cannot solve the chronic poverty of the Indigenous community with piecemeal policies. The situation in the illustrated example would neither change by increasing the amount of welfare money nor by pursuing only one of the two strategies mentioned above. The second is that through minor mentality-directed actions major improvements can potentially be achieved. A receipt, for example, can record and prove the exploitation of an Aboriginal artist. In some cases, such material can even be enough evidence for a prosecution. At the very least, however, it can urge the government to make an inquiry.
Even though there are many voices which are more optimistic about the potential success of education programs101 Svargo FREITAG doubts their effect. He sees the most important step in a new legislation banning the import of unauthentic goods declared as "Aboriginal art" and compulsory labelling of all arts and crafts trading on the "Aboriginal look." This approach is thoroughly discussed in the following interview.

Ill. 38: If the industry was regula-ted by and adequate legis-lation, experts believe that Aboriginal Australians could at long last expe-rience the reconciliation that politicians for years have only been talking about.Despite the numerous findings of this research paper, the "silver bullet" - a universal solution for all problems of Aboriginal people in Australia -- could unfortunately not be found. The fundamental question "Is it at all possible for Aboriginal culture to healthily coexist with capitalism?" is left like so many others with no definite answer, however accompanied with discomforting doubt. What is certain is that the exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes will have to be eradicated before there is even a chance of replying with "yes". Just as certain is that today’s governmental response is deficient in protective legislation to restore the sovereignty of the Indigenous population over their cultural heritage and willingness to cooperate with Aboriginal people which causes an inconsiderate position towards the unique mentality of Aborigines. One can assume that rather than one ultimate scheme, well-researched and for each case individual strategies containing a composition of correlated approaches will hopefully lead to the desired advancement.

 

Interview:

Ill.39: Svargo FreitagSvargo Freitag has been wholesaling Didgeridoos since 1991 and founded the Didjshop in 1999, the world’s largest online Didgeridoo store which apart from selling Indigenous arts and crafts also provides information on Aboriginal culture, political developments in Aboriginal affairs or the exploitation of their work. In his argumentation he particularly emphasises the need for a firmer regulation of the Indus-try by the government and the consideration of Aboriginal mentality in the planning of concepts to improve the socio-economic situation of Australia’s Indigenous population.

The interview was made at a very late hour. Thus, the grammar and the precision in my questions suffered. Furthermore, the telephone connection to Australia was of changing quality which led to acoustic difficulties. Since this interview is essential to understand certain aspects of the essay’s topic I chose to edit the questions and slightly rearrange Svargo Freitag’s answers in order to present his argumentation as clearly structured and comprehensible as possible to the reader. However, it must be pointed out that the context was left totally unchanged.

Thomas Scheele: T
Svargo Freitag: S

T: How big is the share of Indigenous Australians working your business?
S: The number of Indigenous people actually working in the business is not very large. The people working in the business are western people because for the jobs which we are doing it’s basically impossible to find Aboriginal people which can do them.

T: Because they are not qualified for theses jobs?
S: Yes, that’s correct. The dealing with the sales and the customs inquiries and so on, they are not qualified for that, they’re not reliable enough to do that satisfactory. On the production side, however, we buy all of our Didgeridoos from Aboriginal people.

T: So how many Indigenous people are supplying your business?
S: Our suppliers of Aboriginal arts and crafts, they are all Aboriginal families. But once we get them, we still put a lot of work into the Didgeridoos to turn them into good quality musical instruments and to ensure that they won’t crack and split when they get overseas. And that work again, we had Aboriginal people at several times which we were trying to train to do that but it was…very difficult for them to come up to the quality.

T: How many Aborigines live from arts, crafts and tourism in your region? Is the majority of them employed in that sector or are they also strongly represented in other parts of the Australian economy, for example as truck drivers or on farms?
S: Oh no. Most of them are living off other jobs. In this area here, you’d have a few dozen Aboriginal people which do get money in one shape or the other from tourism. But it’s not hundreds. The importance of that sector to the Aboriginal people has been marginalised. It was a lot more important than what it is now. To give you an idea: in the mid 90s I had at least a dozen different regular suppliers. Now, I’ve got two or three. Many have gone out of business because they cannot compete with white people or imported Aboriginal arts and crafts.

T: In my essay, this is what I call "the exploitation of Aboriginal culture" which I divided into three categories: (1) the production of unauthentic ware by non-Aborigines, (2) the infringements of copyrights and (3) Aborigines working under poor conditions for little pay or in exchange for alcohol or other things of that kind. Which of these is the most common form of exploitation?
S: (laughs) Well, all of the above. The one that probably has the biggest negative impacts is the importation of Aboriginal arts and crafts. What I’ve heard happening in this area is that white or Asian people go out and cut Didgeridoos. The logs are loaded straight into containers, they go over to Indonesia, all of the work is done in Indonesia and they are then imported back into Australia and sold to tourists as Aboriginal-made Didgeridoos. Most of these Didgeridoos are basically shit.

T: How can this exploitation be counteracted and by who?
S: That can basically only be counteracted by the Australian government by passing legislation to ban imports of all Aboriginal arts and crafts into Australia. It’d be very simple.

T: I read on your homepage that there was the proposition that dealers should have to label all arts and crafts by law informing about what is authentic Aboriginal art and what is not.
S: Yes, that is interlinked but separate because… see, the problem number one is that that sort of thing happens at all; that Australia imports "Aboriginal" arts and crafts and then sells it to the tourists because that obviously robs Aboriginal people off their jobs. The second problem is that even inside of Australia a lot of this "Aboriginal" art is produced by non-Aboriginal people. There is probably more non-Indigenous people employed in Aboriginal art in Australia than Indigenous people.

T: Now back to the different kinds of exploitation. There are cases known of Aborigines working under poor conditions for unfair compensations. What do you believe are the most crucial factors which brought about the present situation of widespread exploitation? Do social issues play major role in this context?
S: What actually causes that particular situation is the fact that Aboriginal people have a very, very different mentality to western people. Their mentality is very much on a day to day basis. "If I am hungry, I go out and hunt a kangaroo. I do not have to go out now and get half a dozen kangaroos and put five in the freezer." And that applies to money for them. For example, Aboriginal people get social money for a two week period. The day they pick it up, that money is spent. The next day they’ve got nothing.

T: So does that mean that you couldn’t stop exploitation by providing Aboriginal people with a sounder social basis? Let’s say they received better education, would those things still occur?
S: Well, they would still occur, I believe, because, you know, even people like David Gulpili, Australia’s best-known Aboriginal actor, who must have received large amounts of money for the work he’s done in the film industry. The guy hasn’t got any money; he lives on the street in Darwin. He’s a really beautiful guy but totally unable to save any of those large sums of money. It’s part of the Aboriginal culture, too, to share whatever is there. So if one person gets 50,000 dollars he brings it home and everybody says "hey, give me some, give me some" and he does it and it’s cool. That is the mentality and that you will not change too much with education. Those traditional social interactions put into our western society don’t work. Anyway, I can see a possibility of taking the edge of that problem by not paying social money in a lump sum every two weeks but to pay a little bit every day. But still that is no reason to exploit people. I’ve heard of local dealers buying a trunk load of dozens of Didgeridoos and other art only in exchange to paying the outstanding electricity bills. Most people in the industry haven’t got the ethics and the decency to give Aboriginal people a good price.

T: That sounds like Aborigines were accepting their situation. Do they actually desire an economic ascent?
S: They sure do. But even the people we are working with, they get paid quite well and the money just disappears.

T: So how could one prevent this sort of thing to happen?
S: (sighs) Yeah, that… I don’t know. I really haven’t got the answer to that. The challenge would be to teach Aboriginal people to deal with money and to save.

T: There is the policy of self-determination on the one side and there is a more paternalist policy on the other. I understand that the Howard government is rather going towards the latter which, for example, became apparent with the abolition of ATSIC. What kind of policy would work best, especially now that you have pointed out the issues of Aboriginal mentality? Can Aboriginal people represent themselves in politics and distribute welfare money, for example via bodies such as ATSIC, or is that just impossible?
S: Well, I personally believe that it is better to have Aboriginal representation than not. Now there were certainly problems with organizations like ATSIC; the problem being that Aboriginal people involved in those organizations frequently favoured their own families and friends. However, all that would be required is to put save guards into the system to prevent that from happening and to have education campaigns. To take away the only elected representation of Aboriginal people is not the answer. The answer is to teach those people how to handle the money rather than to take all the money away again from them, and not just the money, but also any say.

T: Has the social status of Aboriginal Australians improved over recent years?
S: No, definitely not. The money is still thrown at the issues without a deep understanding of the issues and without sufficient cooperation with Aboriginal people. The other side of that problem lies with the Aboriginal people. There’s a widespread feeling that white society owes them the help. And that feeling keeps Aboriginal people in their status of being dependent. What is also needed is that Aboriginal people are taught and encouraged to do something about their situation. But those things aren’t happening. The government seems to have an interest in keeping Aboriginal people in the situation in which they are and many Aboriginal people seem to have an interest in staying there because the can keep blaming their situation on the government.

T: During my research I often experienced the two-sidedness of an improvement of the economic situation of Aboriginal Australians, for instance, when mining companies pay leases to Aboriginal communities. The exploitation of the land is contradictory to the traditional aspiration for preservation and care of nature, yet it serves as a regular income for these communities. Are Indigenous communities forced into such agreements through their poor socio-economic situation or do they fully agree with such contracts for financial reasons?
S: Aboriginal people allow mining for two reasons. One is intense pressure and number two is money. A classic example is Uluru: there are still tourists walking up on top of Uluru every single day. That is totally…absolutely against Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal people don’t want tourists to go up there but because of the massive pressure by all the tourist companies and the government they still allow it. And it’s similar with the mining companies.

T: How should one see Aboriginal culture? Has it adapted certain western values or is it still very original and traditional?
S: Aboriginal culture as such has been severely damaged. Most of it has been destroyed. Western culture has encroached to a large extent.

T: Does that mean they are fully adapting to white Australian society? Is that the case?
S: They are certainly adapting but they are just as certainly not fully adapting. As I said in the rip off example from before, they are still having problems handling money in a way that western people do. In the wider Australian white community there is a perception that Aboriginal people just can’t do things. And to some degree it’s true; I have told you initially the reason why we only employ one Aboriginal person in this business. It’s the lack of reliability.

T: But there has to be some way to counteract, for example, the lack of reliability?
S: It’s seems to be very, very difficult to teach Aboriginal people to change that.

T: Is that the case all over Australia or particularly with people from remote Australia?
S: No, no, it’s a very general problem.

T: So would I be right to believe that the situation is utterly hopeless and that whatever is going to be done in Aboriginal affairs is doomed to fail?
S: I can see that the legislation which we proposed could in itself do a huge step towards reconciliation. For the Australian government to say that Aboriginal art is something for Aboriginal people to do and we will not allow it to be imported. The demand labelling that, at least, tourists are not deceived that would immediately create a lot of Aboriginal employment because it would create an immediate demand for real Aboriginal art done by Aboriginal people. And then you would have Aboriginal people competing with each other within the market and that will then expose Aboriginal people a lot more to the realities of western economies. But more than employment it would create actually an acknowledgement of Aboriginal people and give them a meaning and a pride which now is totally destroyed. If Aboriginal people walk through the city and they see all this crap, all this imported "Aboriginal" art; that totally demoralizes them. Their culture is stolen and ripped off, just like their country.

 

Appendix:

Power Point Presentation:

The presentation deals with the incompatibilities of Aboriginal mentality and western society as well as with psychological, social and economic issues as the basis of exploitation of Aboriginal culture for economic purposes.
The field has already been been touched in parts of the paper (compare 2.4). Yet, there were two great difficulties in expanding on these aspects or even leaving them out of the paper. On the one hand, these issues are an extremely large field. Dealing with them thoroughly in the essay would have led to problems concerning the length, and even more importantly, they would have gone too far beyond the paper’s core topic. On the other hand, if I had dealt with them scarcely the correlations’ great complexity could not have been emphasised enough. As a result, the outlook on concepts for the future unavoidably would have been inadequate and shallow.
In the end, I thus chose to add a Power Point presentation which covers all aspects, yet with only little text. Furthermore, it is an interactive presentation. This means, one does not need click through each of the sheets in a fixed course but can decide which aspects are necessary for one’s comprehension and which are not.
As a result, I can assume the reader’s knowledge about these issues without dealing with them extensively in the text and disturbing the reading flow.

 

Bibliography:

Literature: (in alphabetical order)
Primary:
- J. Altman et al., "The economic status of Australian Aborigines", Cambridge, 1979
- R. Broome, "Australian Aborigines", Allen & Unwin, 1983
- A. Hagemann, "Die kleine Geschichte Australiens", C. H. Beck, 2004
- G. Leitner, "Die Aborigines Australiens", C. H. Beck, 2006
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, "Das Ende der Armut: Ein ökonomisches Programm für eine gerechtere Welt", Siedler, 2005
- G. Simon, "KulturSchlüssel Australien", Hueber, 2001
- Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park Notes, 2002

Secondary:
- M. Charlsworth, "Religious Business. Essays on Australian Aboriginal Spirituality", Cambridge, 1999
- Peter McConchie, "Elders. Wisdom from Australia’s Indigenous Leaders", Cambridge, 2003
- Newspaper article in the "Kölner Zeitung" from 1880

Internet: (in alphabetical order)
Homepages:
- Anangu Tours:
http://www.ananguwaai.com.au/anangu_tours/Sustainable_Tourism.html
- Australian Government:
http://www.indigenous.gov.au/sra.html
- Australian Labor Party:
http://www.alp.org.au/media/0305/msria080.php
- Australians for Native Titel and Reconciliation:
http://www.antar.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96&Itemid=105
http://www.antar.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105
- The Didjshop:
http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/front.php
http://www.didjshop.com/authenticity.html
http://www.didjshop.com/Aboriginal_Art/aboriginal_art_labelling.html
http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/about .html
http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/ artistscart.html
- European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights:
http://www.eniar.org/news/news-issues/health.html
- House of Aboriginality:
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/campaign.htm
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/about.htm
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/undies.htm
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/shame.htm
- John Howard:
http://www.pm.gov.au/News/interviews/1997/lledit.html
- Online Opinion:
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=2221
- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Copyright_Act_1968

Online News / Newspaper Articles / TV Programmes:
- ABC Message Stick:
http://www.abc.net.au/message/news/stories/ms_news_1754231.htm
- ABC Online:
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1715734.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/central/stories/s1190842.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/kimberley/stories/s1611379.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1608395.htm
- The Daily Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/04/16/wabor16.xml
- National Indigenous Times:
http://www.nit.com.au/TheArts/story.aspx?id=6396
- SBS, "Living Black", Series 5, Episode 1, 08.03.06:
http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/index.php?action=proginfo&id=314
- Sydney Morning Herald:
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/15/1081998302545.html
- Die Zeit:
http://www.zeit.de/archiv/2000/21/200021.chatwin.2_.xml?page=2

Essays / Researches / Other Publications:
- P. Albrecht, "Some Thoughts on Why Australian Aborigines Have Remained on the Fringes of Mainstream Australian Society", 2000:
http://www.bennelong.com.au/conferences/workshop2000/Albrecht2000.php
- Chicago University:
http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/060627.pride.shtml
- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948:
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm
- I. Hughes, "Dependant Autonomy: A New Phase of Internal Colonialism", 1995:
http://www2.fhs.usyd.edu.au/bach/2033/depaut.htm
- The Liberal Party, "Achievements of the Coalition Government since 1996"
http://www.liberal.org.au - "Speakers_Notes_WEB_v3_060816" (PDF)
- Murdoch University (Perth):
http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/litserv/SPAN/32/Trees.html
- Tourism Australia, Snapshot "Indigenous Tourism in Australia 2005":
http://www.tourism.australia.com/content/Fact%20Sheets/SNAPSHOT%20Indigenous%202006.pdf
http://www.tourism.australia.com/content/Research/aboriginal_research_0303.pdf

Music:
- Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning" from the LP "Diesel and Dust", Sony Music Australia (1986)

Photos: (in order of first appearance, all homepages last called up on 25.01.07)
- Thomas Scheele : (p.3, ill.2, background; p.4, ill.3; p.10, ill. ; p.12, ill.8-17; p.22, ill.36-37)
- Think Quest :
http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215290/history.htm (p.4, ill.3)
- Travel Photo :
http://australia.travelphoto.net/E41.HTM (p.5, ill.4)
- Greenleft :
http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/1999/353/353p3-2.gif (p.8, ill.5)
- ABC Online :
http://www.abc.net.au/abccontentsales/s1177843.htm (p.9, ill.6)
- House of Aboriginality:
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/undies.htm (p.13, ill.18)
http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/houseplan.html (p.13, ill.19)
- Distributive Justice:
http://www.distributive-justice.com/.../issue2-en-6.htm (p.14, ill.20)
- Northern Territory Government:
http://www.nt.gov.au/health/healthdev/health_promotion/bushbook/volume2/chap1/petrol.htm (p.14, ill.21)
- Australian National University
http://www.anu.edu.au/BoZo/jennions/publications.html (p.15, ill.22)
- The Liberal Party:
http://www.liberal.org.au (p.17, ill.23)
- Australian Labour Party:
http://www.alp.org.au (p.17, ill.25)
- Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Old_aust_one_dollar_note(back).JPG (p.17, ill.26)
- Australian Government - Department of the Environment and Heritage:
http://www.deh.gov.au/parks/uluru/ (p.18, ill.27)
http://www.deh.gov.au/parks/uluru/together.html (p.18, ill. 28)
- HSC Online:
http://hsc.csu.edu.au/ab_studies/rights/global/social_justice_global/sjwelcome.response.front.htm
(p. 19. ill.29)
- Northern Territory State Government:
http://www.nt.gov.au/cdsca/indigenous_conference/web/html/links.html (p.19, ill.30)
- Nicholson Cartoons:
http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au/cartoons/new/2004-04-16%20Aborigines%20ATSIC%20gets%20ceremonial%20burial%20450302.JPG (p.19, ill.31)
- Abenteuer und Reisen, Issue 19, wvd Gesellschaft für Medien & Kommunikation mbH & Co. OHG, 2004, p.116 (p.24, ill.38)
- The Didjshop:
http://www.didjshop.com/didjshop-team.html (p.25, ill.39)

 

1 Chicago University: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/060627.pride.shtml (from 27.06.06, 08.01.07)
2 European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights: http://www.eniar.org/news/news-issues/health.html (08.01.07)
3 P. Albrecht, "Some Thoughts on Why Australian Aborigines Have Remained on the Fringes of Mainstream
Australian Society": http://www.bennelong.com.au/conferences/workshop2000/Albrecht2000.php (from 2000, 22.01.07)
4 G. Leitner, "Die Aborigines Australiens", p.22 - referred to as: LEITNER
5 A. Hagemann, "Kleine Geschichte Australiens", p.22 - referred to as: HAGEMANN
6 LEITNER, p.37
7 compare LEITNER p.14, p.40, p.57, p.
8 LEITNER, p.49, quote from Meenamatla Everett in (AUTHOR?) "Elders. Wisdom from Australia’s Indigenous Leaders"
9 LEITNER, p.49
10 G. Simon, "KulturSchlüssel Australien", p.42 - referred to as: SIMON
11 The term was created by Karl Marx in his socio-economic theories and appears frequently in his works
12 I. Hughes, "Dependant Autonomy: A New Phase of Internal Colonialism": http://www2.fhs.usyd.edu.au/bach/2033/depaut.htm (from 1995, 22.01.07) - referred to as: HUGHES
13 LEITNER, p.28, from M. Charlsworth, "Religious Business. Essays on Australian Aboriginal Spirituality"
14 HUGHES
15 LEITNER, p.20
16 Essay, Murdoch University (Perth): http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/litserv/SPAN/32/Trees.html (23.09.06)
17 HAGEMANN p.23 f.
18 id.
19 LEITNER., p.28
20 id., p.29 from a newspaper article from 1880 in the "Kölner Zeitung"
21 HAGEMANN, p.38
22 LEITNER, p.29
23 HUGHES
24 LEITNER, p.67
25 id., p.68
26 Report of Wadjularbinna, elder of the Gungalidda and daughter of a raped Aboriginal woman. She was kidnapped and taken to a Christian mission. report in: LEITNER, p.68
27 LEITNER, p.114
28 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2 (e) (Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General
Assembly on 9 December 1948): "(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.":
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm (22.01.07)
29 HAGEMANN, p.101
30 The Didjshop: www.didjshop.com/authenticity.html (05.01.07)
31 LEITNER, p.57
32 id, p.90
33 id, p.91
34 ABC Online: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1715734.htm (vom 15.08 2006, 24.09.06)
35 Tourism Australia, Snapshot "Indigenous Tourism in Australia 2005": http://www.tourism.australia.com/content/Fact%20Sheets/SNAPSHOT%20Indigenous%202006.pdf (16.01.07) - referred to as SNAPSHOT
36 ABC Online: http://www.abc.net.au/central/stories/s1190842.html (24.09.06)
37 id.
38 http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1715734.htm
39 LEITNER, p.8 f.
40 Tourism Australia, Market research: http://www.tourism.australia.com/content/Research/aboriginal_research_0303.pdf, p.3 (26.09.06)
41 id., p.23
42 id. p.16
43 SNAPSHOT
44 Tourism Australia Market research, p.17
45 The Didjshop: http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/front.php (21.01.07)
46 http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/about .html (19.12.06)
47 SNAPSHOT
48 http://www.didjshop.com/Aboriginal_Art/aboriginal_art_labelling.html (06.01.07) - referred to as: LABELLING
49 http://www.didjshop.com/authenticity.html (06.01.07)
50 http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/about .html (19.12.06)
51 LABELLING
52 http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/ artistscart.html (05.01.07)
53 LABELLING
54 Indigenous Times, "Protect yourself and your community": http://www.nit.com.au/TheArts/story.aspx?id=6396 (from 26.01.06, 25.10.06)
55 House of Aboriginality: http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/campaign.htm (17.01.07)
56 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/about.htm (17.01.07)
57 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/about.htm
58 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/undies.htm (17.01.07)
59 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/shame.htm (17.01.07)
60 id.
61 id.
62 ABC Online: http://www.abc.net.au/kimberley/stories/s1611379.htm (from 09.04.06, 25.11.06)
63 ABC Message Stick, "Workshops Aim To Stop Indigenous Artist Exploitation", 03.10.06
http://www.abc.net.au/message/news/stories/ms_news_1754231.htm (15.01.07)
64 id.,
SBS, "Living Black": http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/index.php?action=proginfo&id=314 (17.01.07)
65 SBS, "Living Black": http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/index.php?action=proginfo&id=314 (17.01.07)
66 id.
67 "Perfect for the family with nothing: a vacuum cleaner": www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001 (from 19.06.01, 17.01.07)
68 compare comments on the back of the book
69 Jeffrey D. Sachs, "Das Ende der Armut: Ein ökonomisches Programm für eine gerechtere Welt", Siedler Verlag, p. 34
70 1971 data: R. Broome, "Aboriginal Australians, p. 181 2005 data: PDF "Speakers_Notes_WEB_v3_060816", p.11 (download from http://www.liberal.org.au, 10.01.07)
71 ALTMAN p.142
72 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/campaign.htm
73 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Copyright_Act_1968 (17.01.07)
74 http://www.mq.edu.au/hoa/campaign.htm
75 ABC Online, „Fraud claims in Aboriginal art industry cause concern": http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1608395.htm(17.01.07)
76 http://www.abc.net.au/central/stories/s1190842.html
77 LEITNER, p.76
78 Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park Notes: p.20 ("Non-Aboriginal history")
79 id., p.23 ("Anangu enterprises")
80 LEITNER, p.79 f.
81 id., p.77
82 The Daily Telegraph, "’Corrupt’ aboriginal group is abolished": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/04/16/wabor16.xml (from 16.04.04, 25.11.06)
83 id.
84 id.
85 id.
86 Australian Labor Party: http://www.alp.org.au/media/0305/msria080.php (11.01.07)
87 Online Opinion: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=2221 (11.01.07)
88 Jackie Huggins, member of a government-appointed team to review ATSIC. Based on this review ATSIC was abolished.
From Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/15/1081998302545.html (11.01.07)
89 Australian Government: http://www.indigenous.gov.au/sra.html (18.01.07)
90 Australians for Native Titel and Reconciliation: http://www.antar.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96&Itemid=105 (11.01.07)
91 id.
92 http://www.antar.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105 (11.01.07)
93 PM John Howard: http://www.pm.gov.au/News/interviews/1997/lledit.html (06.01.07)
94 Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning" from the LP "Diesel and Dust", Sony Music Australia (1986)
95 Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park Notes: p.4 ("Welcome")
96 id., p.18 ("Anangu enterprises")
97 Anangu Tours: http://www.ananguwaai.com.au/anangu_tours/Sustainable_Tourism.html (13.01.07)
98 SIMON, p.43
99 Die Zeit: http://www.zeit.de/archiv/2000/21/200021.chatwin.2_.xml?page=2 (from 2000, 13.01.07)
100 Uluru - Katja Tjuta National Park Notes: p.4 ("Welcome")
101 - http://www.nit.com.au/TheArts/story.aspx?id=6396
- http://www.abc.net.au/message/news/stories/ms_news_1754231.htm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001

 

Author: Thomas Scheele from Germany, 2007

Disclaimer: The Didjshop is not responsible for the accuracy of the above material and the opinions expressed in the above text are the views and opinions of the author.