This episode looks at Aboriginal resistance and activism in London and England — as told by First Nations people. As non-Indigenous people born on the Australian continent, Craig acknowledges he was born on Ngunnawal Country, and Shona acknowledges she was born on the land of the Kulin Nation.
Every January Australia finds itself running headlong down a steep hill towards the 26th. We’re in shorts and a t-shirt, and like all kids, the scrapes and scratches on our arms and legs map our summer adventures: fishing, swimming, biking, climbing, skateboarding, bushwalking, surfing, camping. BBQs and dive bombs, mozzies and cicadas, sunscreen and ‘six and out’. Part way down the hill, about the 10th, when the annual ‘lamb ad’ hits our TVs, our legs begin to speed up of their own accord. Soon after, our head wobbles. We’re unsteady. By the 20th we’re careening, our arms and legs flail, and we can’t stop. Teetering, we trip over our own feet and we face plant the dirt, landing in a heap on January 26.
Reflecting on its antiquated and jingoistic origins, Australia Day’s nervous posturing diminishes us all — not least because it’s a form of rigid militarised nationalism (that includes Anzac Day) politicised by prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating; ramped up by John Howard; and continued by the rest. No national day can represent everyone, because nations aren’t static. Personally, ‘national days’ shouldn’t exist, but since they’re A Thing, Australia needs modern symbols that embrace its ever-changing history — from invasion, occupation, colonialism and war, to multiculturalism, migration, treaty and sovereignty (and beyond).
A Black GST could do it. Constituted at ‘Camp Sovereignty’ (Kings Domain, Melbourne, 2006) during Commonwealth Games (‘StolenWealth Games’) protests, the Black GST draws on centuries of resistance. Only by resolving the legal issues of Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty can the holistic wellbeing of Indigenous peoples be secured. Only after Genocide is stopped, Sovereignty recognised and Treaties made, can Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together and put Australia’s ‘unfinished business’ to bed. A Day of Mourning would acknowledge the misery imposed on First Nations peoples by the white invaders. Sovereignty Day would recognise that all Aboriginal nations are sovereign and united in the ongoing fight for their rights. Invasion Day would mark the date of British occupation, the start of the frontier wars, and the resistance that continues today. Survival Day would celebrate that First Nations peoples and cultures have survived despite colonisation.
Until Australia acknowledges all of these truths, we’re nowhere.
Grandmothers Against Removals Go Fund Me page
Rodney’s Twitter: @rodkelly77
Lara’s You Tube page Caramel Latte
“Fernando’s Ghost” documentary
The Lone Protestor (book) by Fiona Paisley
Burnum Burnum Declaration (doc)
You can find that beautiful song on the Sovereign Union page
Check out AIATSIS (start with the language map)
Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance
Indigenous X Twitter: @IndigenousX
National Indigenous TV
Pay The Rent
Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown
From my home to yours. In this episode author, travel podcaster and poet Maame Blue drops by to chat about London, Naarm (Melbourne), travel and... oh yeah, her debut novel "Bad Love" (Jacaranda Books). "I’m not a romantic. I don’t know how to tell those kinds of stories, the ones filled with magic and laughter and a purple hue. Romance has never connected with me in that way. But love — hard, bad, rough love — well, I could speak on that all day." — Maame Blue "Bad Love", 2020 From the start, nothing about Maame Blue’s first novel "Bad Love" is what it seems. Even Dapo Adeola’s cover design hints at an underlying chaos that’s at odds with the cover’s gentle beauty. "Bad Love" is a detailed search for belonging; a love letter to a London that’s far from perfect; and an exploration of faded and unconscious decisions, half-thoughts and shard-words — all those things never said. It follows Ekuah, a young Ghanian-Londoner in her 20s as she navigates and dissects all of love’s permutations: hard, bad, rough, straight, queer — and everything in between. Lyrical where it needs to be, playful when it wants to be, and truth telling when it has to be, "Bad Love" is a complete rendering. I found myself fretting, cheering, and caring about every character: Dee and Jay, Ekuah’s loves; Amelia, Vio; Ekuah’s parents. There is heartbreak here, it’s not all hugs and puppies, but the power of this novel comes from Maame’s agile writing consistently defying expectation. So the power isn’t immediately obvious. Drawn from personal notes on relationships, experienced and observed, Maame’s quality as a storyteller lies in her caring and tender ...
A fete in a cemetery, a tiny underground mail train, and a museum in a shopping centre. Come and celebrate everything that’s NOT the British Museum. ************************** Nunhead Cemetery Open Day Bug hunts, whittling workshops, crypt tours, a petting zoo, ice cream — a ‘typical’ open day. It’s spring and there’s still a chill to the air, but after months of lockdown we’re enjoying being outside. Before arriving if you’d asked me who’d be at the open day I’d have said three history buffs and a dog — but the place is bustling with hundreds of people: market stalls, a community choir, a ‘murder of goths’ (about 30, I’d say). The cemetery is being re-wilded, and as the forest reclaims the place, the wildlife has returned — mostly birds and squirrels, but on one walk we took here in the depths of the winter lockdown, on an overcast day with snow all around, we saw foxes darting between the gravestones and trees. Today, though, there are too many people for foxes. We finish at a pop-up cafe near the Scottish Martyrs monument, with tea and scones and jam. My nan used to make scones like that. The five Martyrs campaigned for parliamentary reform, and for their troubles were transported to Australia in 1794. Mail Rail (Postal Museum) Tunnels running east–west under London carrying narrow gauge driverless trains and delivering millions of letters a day. What more could you want? Royal Mail began as the personal mail service of one of the English kings. Some time later, if you could afford it, you could send letters where the recipient paid for them ...
It’s almost the end of 2020. As a special gift for getting through a hard year, in this bonus episode we share one of our all time favourite pieces of radio, and a holiday classic: ‘Xmas in Merimbula’ by Kayla (then aged 8). ************************** Some 30 years ago, aged 17, I first heard The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ and fell in love with the city, the band and the song — and all the complexities and contradictions within. Unlike so many other Xmas songs, there’s nothing sentimental here: “It was Christmas eve, babe; in the drunk tank. An old man said to me, ‘Won’t see another one’. And then he sang a song: ‘The Rare Old Mountain Dew’. I turned my face away and dreamed about you.” It’s not a song of solace, but a cautionary tale. There but for the grace… As the years have passed, ‘Fairytale…’ has migrated in from the margins. Nowadays it’s played in supermarkets, and since 2005 it returns annually to the top 20 charts — MacColl’s beautiful voice (she grew up in Croydon, South London, not far from here) perfectly counters McGowan’s character’s dirty murky syntax. And when listeners turn from McGowan’s scowl to MacColl’s songfulness for comfort, they fall victim to a beautifully rendered ambush: “They’ve got cars big as bars, they’ve got rivers of gold, but the wind goes right through you it’s no place for the old.” Who are these people? I get preoccupied with a song’s words. In retrospect, I always have. I listen to songs as a writer, zeroing in on utterances, while Shona draws meaning from the music, listening as a musician. She plays guitar, ukulele, piano, and sings. I ...