Hip hop artists add their voice to change date of Australia Day

SBS World News Radio: While many people will be celebrating Australia Day, there is also a swell of popular support to change the date of Australia day, with newspapers, artists and many in the Indigenous community rallying behind it.

Hip hop artists add their voice to change date of Australia Day

Hip hop artists add their voice to change date of Australia Day

"Some say what's in a day? Some say what's in a name?Australia day, invasion day, homie that's one and the same"

It's an Indigenous protest anthem for the modern day, using modern virtual reality technology to create an accompanying music video.

NITV has brought together some of the best hip hop talent in the country,

to release a song with a message - we need to change the date of Australia day.

For Indigenous hip hop artist Nooky, it's a no brainer.

"They're celebrating invasion, you know we mourn the dead, they celebrate it, so yeah it just can't wrap my head around it why we're still doing it"

For the other artists, like L-Fresh the Lion and Thundamentals, it's important to show solidarity and support.

"For me january 26 is a day or acknowledging or recognising it as a day of mourning, invasion day survival day"

"It's not a day that I'm proud of it's not a date that I celebrate, I generally stauy pretty low key on that day because I realise the significance of that date for our Indigenous peoples."

These artists are just some of the voices joining the change the date movement, with Indigenous artists A-B Original releasing their protest track 'January 26' last year.

Newspapers such as the Guardian and The Saturday Paper have also officially voiced their support through editorials.

But some in the Indigenous community, such as Sydney Festival director Wesley Enoch, don't believe the date should be changed,

"If you move the day, you also remove the irritation which is great, but you remove the impetus to talk about what it means for black and white Australia to be together"

The Indigenous community will mark what many call 'Invasion day', with protests held in major cities across the country, and thousands are expected to attend.

But the Australian museum decided to kick things off early, with a special event featuring a performance by activist and blues artist Marlene Cummins.

The event, called Ngalu Warawi Marri - Gadigal for "we are strong", featured a display of Indigenous of cultural artefacts and a screening of 88, a landmark documentary about the Indigenous protests of the bicentenary celebrations.

Wailwan woman and creative producer for the Australian musem, Laura McBride, says the the evening, was a celebration of the reslience of Indigenous culture .

" We're opening up the conversation to show that Aboriginal people have for a long time protested this date, the original 1938 day of mourning right up until the 1988 massive protests for the bicentenary, and this is all before Australia day became an official national celebration in 1994"



3 min read
Published 25 January 2017 at 8:00pm