A Yolngu filmmaker and director in Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land, says the power of old footage to tell new stories cannot be underestimated ahead of the expansion of his nation’s Mulka Project.
31 Jul 2015 - 6:28 PM  UPDATED 7 Aug 2015 - 2:31 PM
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Friday 31 Jul 2015

Magnificent pictures have emerged from the Garma Festival in Central Arnhem Land, as traditional dancers paint themselves in red and white and cover their backs with the number 37 as a show of solidarity for the Sydney Swans' Adam Goodes.

NITV News is at the Garma Festival and took these photos as the dancers prepared for the festival opening.

The group, which is performing at the four-day Garma Festival in Central Arnhem Land, say they want to express support for the number 37 Andyamathanha/Narungga man who will not play against Adelaide on Saturday after being continually booed at an AFL match against the West Coast Eagles last Sunday. 

 

Dancer Gabirri told NITV News that they decided to paint the red Sydney Swans 'V' on their chests and white number 37s on their backs to send a message to Goodes that "we're proud of you ... and we're behind you."

“It is because we know what he is going through...down south and we just want to get behind him and we know he is in a bad way at the moment so we just want to show our support," Gabirri said.

“It is a shame that Australia is still doing it today in 2015, you know, people can say that we’re booing him because we don’t like him but we think there is underlying racism. No one booed him beforehand, before he started all this stand against racism and if they don’t think it‘s racism, well then, it’s bullying. It takes a toll on you."

“He should stand strong and stand against it.

“Adam, we’re proud of you. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’re behind you.”

The dance they do is about looking for a hollow log to make a log coffin. The painting of their bodies is more a tribute than the dance. It is a significant dance from the region, out of Nhulunbuy in Central Arnhem Land.

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Garma: Dancers paint themselves in solidarity with Adam Goodes
Magnificent pictures have emerged from the Garma Festival in Central Arnhem Land, as traditional dancers paint themselves in red and white and cover their backs with the number 37 as a show of solidarity for the Sydney Swans' Adam Goodes.

 

The 2015 Garma Festival opened with the yidaki (didjeridu) at the Gulkula site outside of Nhulunbuy in Central Arnhem Land in the effort to shape a better world and strengthen the culture of Yolngu peoples of Arnhem Land in Northern Territory on Friday.

The annual event, which engages economic, political, academic and other leaders of society towards self-determination and economic opportunities, such as enterprise and remote Indigenous community development, will continue until Monday 3 August. 

While the event is for Yolngu people, around 2,000 guests travel to remote Arnhem Land to participate in talks about topics ranging from governance to youth leadership, and celebrate Indigenous cultures through ancient storytelling, dance (bunggul) and song (manikay). 

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Garma Festival: NITV News in north east Arnhem Land
A Yolngu filmmaker and director in Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land, says the power of old footage to tell new stories cannot be underestimated ahead of the expansion of his nation’s Mulka Project.