What different ways have composers used to examine the relationship between black and white Australia? Discuss with reference to two texts.
From the first contact and many years after they first landed on Australian shores, the Aboriginal people have had a complex relationship with the White settlers. Some would say that it was beneficial for the primitive Aborigines as the White settlers brought many new technologies and developments which could aid the Aborigines in their practices. However, many others would strongly argue that the arrival and dominance of the Western culture ultimately led to an erosion of the Indigenous culture. Although, in today’s society, Aborigines are much better recognised and respected, before this was not the case as the Aboriginal people were seen as inferior and were discriminated against by the non-Indigenous people. This relationship has been explored by many artworks, films, books and songs and poems over many years. The book ‘Rabbits’ by Shaun Tan and John Marsden and the poem ‘Then and Now’ by Oodgeroo Noonuccal have used many visual and language techniques to outline the relationship between black and white Australia and the erosion of the Indigenous culture by the White settlers
‘The Rabbits’, a book by Shaun Tan and John Marden, published in 2000, represents the relationship between the Aboriginal people and the White settlers using various visual techniques. The idea that Aboriginal Australians suffered greatly as a result of colonisation is a major aspect of ‘The Rabbits’. The rabbits anthropomorphically represent the British while the Aborigines are portrayed as native numbats. In one double page spread the baby numbats are seen floating away from their families in white kites. This alludes to the stolen generations and white kites symbolise the white policy of assimilating the stolen children into mainstream society. Additionally, the words 'And stole children' are written across the page in what... [continues]
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