Between the 1800s and 1970s, First Nation workers in Australia were enslaved. Denied wages that were corrupt officials and employers, generations of First Nations in Australia were locked into a cycle of poverty that still exists today.
Badimaya/Yamatji painter, Julie Dowling, has compiled an exhibition on the theme of seeking reparations for Slavery in Australia for First Nations people. From diving for pearls to back-breaking farm labour, from minding children of their colonial masters to present day work for government benefits, Dowling forces colonial Australian racist discourses that First Nations people were/are lazy and a drain on society. An amnesia exists whereby Australian agriculture and other primary industries were founded on the slavery of First Nations. The works in Dowling’s exhibition speak of these atrocities and to show how beautifully resilient her people are despite this.
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Galerie Seippel, Köln, Germany.