One of the focuses of Janke and Frankel’s paper was, airing the indigenous communities’ concerns, regarding the appropriation of their art and cultural practice. The paper aims to bring to light a framework that can effectively address issues surrounding comodification of their culture, sale of secret/sacred objects and information on how to generate compensation or royalties.
Current copyright laws do not recognise the importance of oral and visual stories which are passed down to Australian Indigenous artists by the elders in their respective communities. The intangible aspects of cultural heritage are not protected.Gray (Janke & Franke, 1998 p237) states:
The collection of sites that were provided were an interesting mix. Once I reflected on what I was seeing, I saw the sites as strong examples of drawing on your heritage and culture. The essence of who you are can empower you as an individual. It brings a different but valuable slant to a professional or artistic work. And of course it can act as an active node in creating a stronger connection to the larger traditional aspect of culture, however they are interpreted.
In reflection what has appealed to me most has been the sense of connection and empowerment that is nurtured when creative freedom is given to express your culture through your own unique lens without the weight of preconceptions of outsiders dictating what that should be.
- Janke, T., & Frankel, M. (1998). Our Culture: Our Future Report on Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Part 1, pp. 1-44.
- Mia Mia Gallery, Retrieved from http://www.miamiagallery.com/.
- Simpson L, (2011) Gaawaa Miyay, Indigenous Contemprary Design, Retrieved from http://www.gaawaamiyay.com/story/about-lucy-simpson/.
- Sista Girl Productions, Retireved from http://www.sistagirl.com.au/welcome.html.