Sunday, April 27, 2008

ANZAC Day Part 3

Once I’d gotten a few hours’ sleep following the dawn service, I was ready for another Anzac Day event. I didn’t make it to the traditional Anzac March in the city center that morning, but I figured the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders march would be better to attend anyway. I’m taking an Indigenous Australia class here, which discusses the mis- and under-representation of the Aboriginal community.

The Aboriginal march began at The Block in Redfern. Redfern is an inner-city neighborhood in Sydney with a large population of Aboriginal people, and unfortunately it is also poorer and associated with crime. Redfern was the site of riots in 2004. It’s also conveniently the closest train station to my house. I know to be careful walking back at night, but I’ve never felt unsafe during the times I’ve been there.

Anyway, I was glad to go to a positive event in Redfern associated with pride and tradition. Many carried Aboriginal and Torres Strait flags.

These two girls were cute imitating martial arts moves with their flags.

Something striking about the event was the media presence. I’d have to say there was one reporter or photographer for every actual participant. It’s great that the press was covering the event, but it was sad how few people from the wider community attended. Of course many had already been to the dawn service and the parade and at this point were getting drunk before the rugby game. But still.

Just for fun, here's an Aboriginal hip hop song that I gave a presentation and wrote an essay on a few weeks ago. The video for the song features the guys driving through Redfern.

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