Adelaide City Council's Aboriginal City Life Photographic Project celebrates the diverse and positive contributions Aboriginal people make to South Australia's capital city, and has created a photographic treasure for SA communities.
Through involvement in local government, Indigenous people have the opportunity to take on responsibility in civic and citizenship areas, says Shirley Peisley AM.
My involvement was to help counteract the negative media portrayals of Indigenous people in city life and show that Indigenous people are involved in many aspects of city life in a positive way, Shirley says.
The project was initiated by Dot Davey (a previous Aboriginal Development Officer) to counteract negative media images of Aboriginal people in the city and contribute to reconciliation. Dot and other staff in the Community Development Department developed the project, which spotlights Aboriginal workers, school children, performers, parents, customers and service.
Adelaide prides itself on its history as an inclusive and diverse place, and this exhibition gives a wonderful insight into the life of Indigenous people, with images of Aboriginal people contributing to the life of the city community.
The exhibition was launched during Reconciliation Week in May 2001 in Victoria Square, a site of great cultural importance for Aboriginal people. The photographs are a vivid reminder that Aboriginal people are the original inhabitants. The photographs portray a vibrant living culture, offering a unique perspective and contrast to other cultures. They help educate the community about the diversity within Aboriginal communities and promote the process of reconciliation.
The collection of framed originals – ten black and white and ten full colour images – has been shown in NAIDOC Week and Aboriginal Youth Cultural Week at the Adelaide TAFE, and in the Adelaide City Council Customer Service Centre. The collection is available for exhibitions and community events, while images are available in a pamphlet and online at the Council website.
Aboriginal people as individuals, groups, organisations and communities were extensively involved in the project and the Council acknowledges their invaluable contribution, and that of Dot Davey and local photographer Ben Searcy. Ben dedicated many hours and developed close relationships with Aboriginal communities to achieve the high quality images for this collection.
Resources: This project was fully funded by the Adelaide City Council.
Courtesy of Creative Communities and the Creating Communities project kit, which comprises:
• Guidelines for developing and maintaining an arts and cultural policy
• Good practice story sheets
• Policy story sheets
|Diat Alferink and Craig Greene, principal organisers of Taikurringga Yerta (Kaurna for In Common Land) at Elder Park. Photographer: Ben Searcy|