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June 29, 2002

Aboriginal Television

This is probably one of the greatest cultural shocks to me. In europe we're pretty much so mongrelised that we don't have an indigenous population. (Gypsies possibly?)

In Canada, the Aboriginals aren't interested in television made by people in the south - they want to talk about their own issues, and we had a fabulous and really inspiring talk from Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew - a Cree/French Canadian who's been a key player in Aboriginal People's Television Network. He works with native producers and is trying to find ways to bring their programmes into the interactive world. This is despite huge pressures from the likes of CBC and the old-skool linear tv folk at APTN.

He's using a lot of cool-looking tools from Zope to help him do this.

It was also interesting to hear that it's not possible to study native arts at university here - you study European classical art, and the only place native arts are discussed are in anthropology.

Similarly, there's no discussion of Aboriginal creation stories, and how they should be preserved. He's looking at ways to do that.

A very inspiring figure.

Incidentally, he's also made me reappraise The Mullet. His is essentially an unplaited version of what the other Aboriginals are wearing - as seen in every western ever.

Realised I was jumping to very false conclusions.

Posted by Tom Dolan at June 29, 2002 03:30 PM


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