Indigenous ‘send message’ to Mardin
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Works are shown with a slide projector at the opening of the exhibition in Mardin.Australia’s embassy in Turkey has opened a new touring exhibition in the southeastern province of Mardin depicting the difficulties Aboriginals have in adapting to life in urban Australia.
The “Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia” exhibition opened Sept. 27, but visitors were forced to view the works with a slide projector because the pieces, which were shipped from Cairo close to two weeks ago, were delayed while en route to Mardin.
Australian Ambassador to Turkey Ian Biggs said they had chosen Mardin, a city that is famous for its tolerance, because it was so different from Australia.
Eleven artists are displaying their works at the exhibition, the envoy said. “You will see in these works the problems of the indigenous public when adapting to the city. Australia’s population is 23 million. Half a million of these people are indigenous. Their identity has been assimilated for many years. You will see their rage as well as positive things,” he said.
The exhibition features a selection of significant works by Aborigine artists at the forefront of contemporary art in Australia and demonstrates Australia’s commitment to embracing and celebrating the world’s oldest living cultures, a commitment voiced four years ago in 2008 with the Australian government’s National Apology to the Stolen Generations, a move to apologize for the removal of Aborigine children from their families.
The exhibition will be open in Mardin until Oct. 20 at the Mardin Municipality Konak Gallery.