Australia was once known as the “Workman’s Paradise”, or as the “Lucky Country”, when working class people were able to purchase a new Holden car. At the same time, class and race divisions marked the landscape. Some argued that Australia had tightened its ties with Britain and was a satellite colony. But after the global economic depression, Australia began to mature. Today, more Millennials, Gen-Z and Gen Alphas are taking an interest in Australian history, taking part in activism to make their voices heard for so many significant political and global issues that hit home and once were ignored and to make their mission to shine a light again and demand for change.
The racism that African diaspora people in Australia experience. Racism is rampant in Australia and is often denied by perpetrators. Nevertheless, African-diaspora Australians are constantly watched and scrutinised and are taught that blackness is less desirable. The overt and covert racism that African-diaspora people have faced in Australia has impacted their sense of self. Many of them learn to bear their blackness like a burden.
The media has fueled these fears by using terms like BIPOC,which stands for Black and Indigenous People of Colour. Many of the songs are about African people. The rapper Danzal Baker uses the Yolngu Matha language to speak to his audience. The songs of this artist are resonating with young Australians because they are relevant to their lives.
Blak Australia’s affinity with African-Americans
Indigenous Australians have long identified with the term black, and other terms like “Blak” and “Blackfellas” are synonymous with their ethnicity. Their affinity for African-American culture was demonstrated in the 1960s when Aboriginal Australians established the Australian branch of the Black Panther Party. Later, they adopted hip-hop culture originating in the U.S., including the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which focuses on the deaths of African-Americans by police officers.
For many African-diaspora Australians, this new country presents a range of challenges, and their history complicates their relationships with their hosts. The colonial context of Australia makes Afro-Blackness visible, and blackness is perceived as less desirable. Throughout Blak Australia’s Affinity with African-Americans, racism is an overt and covert theme. For centuries, skin colour has been an indicator of otherness and difference in Australia.
Blak Australia’s association with Heidelberg School movement
The recent resurgence of the Heidelberg School movement in Australia is a sly reference to the implosion of the humanities and art departments across the country. The Heidelberg School spanned almost 40 years between 1870 and 1930 and has become a familiar and influential style to young Australians. This exhibition brings together a range of works by artists associated with the movement, including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Blak Australia.
The Heidelberg School movement was founded in the mid-1890s in Australia and is associated with the landscape paintings of Yarra and Gippsland. The movement was named by American art critic Sidney Dickinson in 1891, and embraced the concepts of impressionism and plein air painting. While the Heidelberg School was inspired by the European art movement, it was not as ambitious. Despite the influence of the Heidelberg School, Australian artists stayed committed to ‘local colour’ and naturalism. Their landscape paintings often reflected a naturalistic aesthetic, and included traditional elements of academic art.
Blak Australia’s influence on Australian politics
In recent years, the discourses surrounding Australian immigration have emphasized white hegemony and racial discomfort among people of colour. The policies and rhetoric that have been adopted to address these problems have a history of racial prejudice and exclusion, and they have been exacerbated by a recent shift in the nation’s demographics, making it easier for Australian governments to distance themselves from multicultural policies. The result of this shift has been the renaming of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to reflect the broader political interests of conservative Australians. Ultimately, this result has resulted in increasing punitive Australian immigration policies and the marginalisation of people of colour and other marginalised groups.
Despite the growing political importance of racial diversity in Australia, Blak’s influence on Australian politics has been limited. While the Prime Minister’s government has been consistently critical of the black armband movement, it has maintained a more centrist stance than recent comments made by opposition leaders. The recent government’s support for gay rights and equality has also fueled the debate over the politics of religion.
It’s no surprise that Gen Z is the first generation to be critically aware of climate change. They were born into an era where fires rage across Australia and hurricanes strikes in Florida, Texas & Puerto Rico every year while California burns regularly with devastating wildfires making waves throughout their home state as well. 4 out 10 young people identify this issue most among those impacting our world today- it has become so much a part since they can’t remember any other time when talk hadn’t surrounded these problems.
These topics hit home for Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alphas. This is why there is a need for it to be openly discussed in everyday conversations and where they are taking charge to understand our past and learn from it and shape the future that hey want to live, survive and thrive in.