Kartanya and Vernon reclaim a colonial park with an installation of sound and text recalling island songs from Cape Barren, the pain of displacement, and the lies told to hide the truth in the wake of colonisation. It’s an exploration of the many layers of forced assimilation palawa people have had to endure in lutruwita, and how in spite of this, culture continues and thrives.
waranta takamuna in palawa kani means ‘we rise’. Through the years and the darkest of times we have always risen above our oppressors and forced assimilation.
Assimilation comes in many forms and many stages. It first began in lutruwita (Tasmania) during initial invasion and the Black War when many of our people were forcibly removed from our homelands to tayaritja (the Bass Strait Islands). Many of our women and young girls were stolen by sealers and taken to the islands to be ‘wives’ while the rest of our people endured the atrocities of the Black War, only for it to end by them being removed to the wybalenna settlement on Flinders Island. These were dark times but as we always do, we survived and created thriving communities. It wasn’t as it once was and it was far from perfect, but it was ours; we had our own way of talking, we sang our own songs, and we were all together. This of course couldn’t be, and we were again forced from the islands we now called home. Mainland lutruwita had been changed by our invaders and we were outnumbered. We processed our loss and chose to rise; we continued to practice our culture and be ourselves. Prince’s Square, a space dripping in colonialism, is now situated between two cultural hubs in Launceston: the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Elders Council. We will reclaim this space and explore these numerous attempts at assimilation and how it only added to the richness of our culture. The islands once represented loss and now they represent our home away from home.
Friday 21–Sunday 23 January, 10am–6pm
Curated by Emma Pike and Zoe Rimmer
Masks required: Yes
This is an outdoor venue in a public space.
The soundscape runs for 10 minutes, but attendance time is determined by you.