Header Image: 'Time is on our Side, You Mob' - 2018 acrylic paint on canvas, Aretha Brown
Mainstream media still has a problem with diversity; with the overrepresentation of cis white men forcing marginalised voices into the background. This month at OWP, we are highlighting the contribution of First Nations people to feminism and activism. Here are some of our recommendations for artists and activists to follow online…
For politics: Celeste Liddle
Liddle is an Arrernte woman who lives in Melbourne. Liddle rose to prominence through her blog Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist, but she now writes columns and freelance for Eureka Street, ABC, SBS, and Whimn, among other publications. Liddle has also penned a number of fantastic articles for The Guardian - this one is a great read if you are interested in learning more about white feminism and the importance of intersectionality. For regular updates about feminism, politics, and her work as a unionist; you can follow Liddle on Twitter.
For fashion: Tradara Briscoe
Briscoe is an Anmatyerr woman with traditional family connections to Coniston – the cattle station community which was the site of the 1928 massacre of Indigenous Australians. She has been selling canvas artworks for years, but in 2016 decided to start painting onto handbags. From there, she launched her brand ‘TRADARA’ – which includes high-end fashion garments, homewares and accessories. Briscoe says that her collection, “showcases pieces holding [her] traditional Dreamings and stories at its core”.
For feminism: Feminism and Decolonisation
The facebook page Feminism and Decolonisation was created in 2013, providing a “space that values feminine ways of knowing, and seeks to advocate for voices and faces that are not heard nor seen.” Feminism and Decolonisation offers regular updates on Indigenous activism, as well as “rants and reflections about the intersection between Aboriginality and feminism within Australia”. Follow the page if you want to stay in the loop, and fill your timeline with quality memes. You can support the Feminism and Decolonisation, and get additional content, by becoming a patron.
For fiction: Claire G. Coleman
Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman and writer. Her work includes fiction, essays and poetry. Her debut novel Terra Nullius is a speculative novel about Australia. It was the subject of great critical acclaim, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. Coleman has written a number of Opinion pieces for IndigenousX in The Guardian. You can read her thought-provoking pieces on Change The Date and Indigenous stories, here.
For music: Thelma Plum
Plum is a Gamilaraay woman. Plum’s debut album, Better in Blak, was released in…, and has already received much critical acclaim. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Plum speaks about how Paul McCartney came to be featured on her song “Made For You”. Plum will be performing at Splendour in the Grass, and then at a number of locations around Australia throughout August. You can follow her on Facebook here.
For art: Aretha Brown
Brown is a Gumbayngirr artist and activist. In 2017, at just 16 years old, she was elected Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament. Speaking to winwin magazine, Brown said, “I don’t get the privilege to decide to be ‘into’ activism; I was born into politics and it’s a system that continues to define my mob.” Her artwork explores topics like gender identity, community and consumerism. Earlier this year, her painting “Time is on our Side, You Mob” was selected for the Top Arts exhibition at the NGV. To see more of Brown’s art, you can follow her Instagram account.
For listening: Amy McQuire
Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Islander writer, based in Brisbane. As well as undertaking postgraduate studies at the University of Queensland, McQuire writes for Buzzfeed Australia and IndigenousX. Her podcast Curtain explores how the criminal justice systems in Australia fail Indigenous people. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she tweets regularly about Indigenous issues and activism.