Monday, July 26, 2010

on the road

On the road, staying in Halls Creek. I have just finished reading Alexis Wright's Grog War. She describes it as:

The book that I wrote for the people, the Aboriginal people in Tennant Creek, the Warramunga people. 'Grog War', it is a book that they asked me to do to document 10 years of an enormous struggle that they had to introduce some pretty, I don't think they were major restrictions, simple restrictions to the availability of alcohol in Tennant Creek and they took 10 years just to bring in some restrictions in that town and they had to fight every inch of the way.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You wrote in 'Grog War' Aboriginal people are still being forced to hold much of their contact with white people locked away inside of themselves. The best parallel which describes that hidden history is describe that it's trapped like angry hornets inside Pandora's box. Those words must still resonate with you?

ALEXIS WRIGHT: Well, they do. If we expose our anger, sometimes if we express our anger we're criticised for being too emotional or too angry.

KERRY O'BRIEN: After 'Carpentaria' and with Aboriginal, Chinese and Irish blood in your veins you reflected on what might constitute a lasting form of reconciliation.

You wrote, "I've often thought about how the spirits of other countries have followed their people to Australia, and how those spirits might be reconciled with the ancestral spirits that belong here. I wonder if it is at this level of thinking that lasting form of reconciliation between people might begin, and if not, how our spirits will react."

It is very soft and very hard out here....both at the same time.