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I wake up in Docker River (Kaltakatjarra), Australia’s most isolated Aboriginal community at the south west of the Northern Territory, near the South Australian and West Australian borders. There are 800 people in the community and at 5am as the sunrises over this huge Namatjira landscape, no one is stirring. It’s the end of three weeks of workshops and we pile into the troopy – the 4WD. We hit the red dirt road and start bumping our way north, it’s about four hours drive to Yularra, the airport. About fifteen minutes into our journey we spot a couple of camels on the road up ahead loping along. They turn their goofy heads and look at us as if to say, “Oh shit! A car!” and keep running along the road. We laugh. They keep running along the road. We are doing about eight kilometres an hour now and it’s a fair drive so we beep our horn and try to wave them off the road. Not known for their incredible brain capacity – water is another thing – they just keep running along the road, trying to get away from us. So for the next ten minutes we trundle along behind them laughing as they try to figure out what is going on until one of them has a brain surge and steps off the road. We yell in triumph, the other camel takes the cue and they run off into the vast horizon looking back at us as if to say, “What is their problem?”
Read more…Manila. Exclusively for readers of Live Encounters an excerpt from Morganics upcoming book,
Memoirs of a Hip Hop Nomad. In this chapter he shares with us details of a brief ‘stop over’ in Manila!
The cold, yellow paint is brushed onto my chest first, then the black. It represents the goanna – parenti – dreaming. Wire and I get the same colours. Then Manu starts getting painted up black and white, I ask our teacher, Tjapaya, “What do the colours represent?” He looks at me, as if to say, don’t you know anything? and says “The magpies” the Aussie rules football team, and walks off. Once us men have been painted up then we return to the group where the women too have been painted. There are six women and four men and we all assemble in front of Mantitjarra (Mrs Wilson) like a bunch of schoolkids on our first day of school, proud to have been painted, anxious that we don’t make a mistake in the dance. Mrs Wilson looks us up and down, laughs from her large belly.
Six Seasons by Jabiru Area School Culture First Class, produced by Morganics
Morganics is an award winning Hip Hop Artist, spoken word performer and director as well as a passionate community worker. He has performed from New York to the UK, the Sydney Opera House to Prague. His extensive work with indigenous communities throughout Australia includes The Wilcannia Mob’s “Down River” which he remixed for MIA’s latest. He produced an album for ex street kids Wayahudi Family in Tanzania and has recently released his CD/DVD “Hip Hop is My Passport”. Morganics is currently working on his forthcoming book “Memoirs of a Hip Hop Nomad” and Australia’s first Hip Hop musical feature film “Survival Tactics”. www.morganics.info