No place for white “settlers”

‘Divisive’ indigenous art installation near Flinders St station criticised

John Masanauskas, City editor, Herald Sun

A POLITICAL artwork by indigenous artists that rails against those whose “blood is of a settler” has been labelled “divisive”.

The installation in the City of Melbourne’s Signal arts studio near Flinders St station features a publicly displayed poster saying, “This is a safe blak (sic) space. A space for blakfullas (sic). Refugees welcome”.

Another poster declares, “If your blood is of the settler, please respect our request to not enter. This is for us; this is for you.”

The controversial art installation near Flinders St station. Picture: Jason Edwards

A voice heard through a loudspeaker says, “Pay the rent. You have stolen our land and we want it back.”

A Melbourne city council spokesman said the work, Unnaturalised, was being held at Signal as part of the Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival.

“The exhibition was created by indigenous artists Gabi Briggs and Arika Waulu, who are known as Real Blak Tingz,” he said.

“Signal is a council-owned youth arts space. While we acknowledge that some people may find aspects of this art exhibition challenging, like all good art its purpose is to encourage thought, reflection and discussion.”

Inside the ‘safe blak space’ installation. Picture: Jason Edwards

The council is core funder of the festival with partners including state and federal government agencies, the British Council, Arts Centre Melbourne, SBS Radio, Fed Square and State Library.

Evan Mulholland, from free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, said that such art work on public property was unnecessarily divisive. “We are all Australians, dividing people by race should never be tolerated in a public space,” he said.

The issue of “safe spaces” for minorities is raging here and overseas in universities.

A racial vilification and freedom of speech case was triggered in 2013 after three Queensland University of Technology students walked into a computer lab, only to be told it was “an indigenous space for Aborig­inal and Torres Strait students”.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Is the indigenous art installation divisive? Tell us in the comments below.

I like this one:

Let’s just flip this around and see how it sounds shall we:

This is a safe white space.

A space for white people. Refugees welcome.

If your blood is of the aboriginal, please respect our request to only enter the designated black zone.

This is for us; this is for you.

Now that’s as racist as it comes, how is it our laws don’t work in both directions.

6 thoughts on “No place for white “settlers””

  1. ask to see their receipt or bill of purchaser for the land. they claim is theirs.

  2. Just listen, I think I hear Timmy Sommartarse calling for offence takers……………………………

    Yes , it was a joke.

  3. I am 4th Generation AUSTRALIAN.
    I know no other lifestyle or culture.

    “I am, you are, WE ARE Australian”.

  4. In Australia’s Islamic Museum – you know, the one set up by Ahmed Fahour’s brother, the one that Fahour gave his brother a seven figure sum out of his Australia Post ‘bonus’ to help with funding – yes, that Islamic Museum – there is, one gathers, an exhibit proclaiming that Australia was really colonised by Muslims. Muslims (allegedly) settled on Australia’s west coast, well before European Settlement, and claimed the entire continent for the Caliphate. (BTW this renders Acts of Terror quite permissible in Australia, since the Muslim terrorists are merely seeking to recover what is rightly theirs). The whinging, ‘poor bugger me’ Aboriginals might like to reflect upon what their lives might be like if Australia had indeed been colonised by Afghanistan, or some other Islamic State, instead of England. One thing is for sure: then there would be no ‘Aboriginal Art’ in Flinders Street Station.

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