I'm still trying to process this. I think for me, it would've actually had power if it had been a commissioned piece by a Richard Bell or Julie Dowling or another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who works to bring light to this contested space and affirms our Sovereign nationhood.
The artwork from a young 16-year-old absolutely highlights her talent, and she is to be commended for this. However, I feel all that interpretation is lost on an average viewer who would see two happy children running as if they were playing, and a disengaged cultural woman - an average viewer wouldn't have given it much thought.
I hear myself saying, 'why is it that it takes Gardiyas to 'open the conversation' when Blakfullas have been saying this for decades and centuries?' When we address this, our community members are listed as radical, angry and marginalised.
What compounded my initial questioning of the intent, was the link to a full page promoting Australia Day which I felt was a poor choice, seemingly disempowering the image. It felt as if our people were being used as clickbait to draw the masses to Australia Day. There was not one mention of Survival Day or Invasion Day, or even a juxtaposition of the three as was so eloquently presented by NITV only days earlier.
We made a choice to speak up about this and by raising this as an issue through social media, we can see Google's response has been to re-divert the link to the story of the artist and the newly issued article in New Matilda speaking of Google's brilliance and deep cleverness. Perhaps, if they truly were mindful, they would've gone to the NITV reference above to keep it balanced.
If it was purposely all the things of deep cleverness as described, it would be a stroke of absolute brilliance, but I think the brilliance was in New Matilda's world view in their interpreting it.
I don't feel it was intended to be as such, but it is now seemingly backfilled to suggest otherwise.
Sam Cook is a representative from #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA.