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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

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11 responses to “Quickhit: Icedancers with a new twist on blackface.”

  1. Meg Thornton

    It’s almost fitting this is surfacing just prior to Australia Day. I mean, really, the Indigenous Australian peoples just don’t get slapped in the face by white culture hard enough the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year; we still need to have an extra-special one to “celebrate” the beginning of the whole catastrophe. Gods above, if we’re celebrating nationhood, let’s move it to January 1, and call it “Federation Day” instead.

    If these two want to celebrate tribalism, why not rip off something closer to their own home… such as the Siberian shamanic cultures, Inuit cultures, Lapplander cultures and Native American cultures (all of which would be more suited to something like dancing on ice, of all things, than faux-Indigenous faux-Australian)?

    [This rant brought to you by far too many "Aussie flag" products at the local shops, and the over-promotion of Australia Day as the next Big Retail Date.]

  2. Shiyiya

    Ugh, that’s truly disgusting.

  3. Nacey

    The music is all wrong. Other than the odd bit of digeridoo, there is nothing Indigenous Australian about it at all. That voice you’re hearing? That’s the sound of an Indian/South Asian man doing the vocal exercises to communicate drum beats on a tabla. That’s how they learn new beats, and that’s how they teach beats to those learning traditional Indian percussion.

    Good gravy, that performance is a mess. And the outfits are ugly.

  4. The Amazing Kim

    Notice how the lady dancer’s “skin coloured” bodysuit is lighter than the man’s. Nice touch, there.

    *drowns in fail*

  5. Rayedish

    From above:
    ‘ “Aboriginal, it translates from Latin language, it’s from the beginning,” Linichuk said. “We try to represent a picture of this time when aboriginal people start being in the world. It’s no customs, no country, nothing.” ‘
    - See we are not appropriating people’s cultural customs in our quest for glory, we’re really not -> Oh I guess that makes it ok then (Sarcasm).
    That ‘splaining just demonstrates that they know that they are doing something underhand.

  6. Sam Bauers

    We try to represent a picture of this time when aboriginal people start being in the world. It’s no customs, no country, nothing.

    See, they weren’t being racist about Australian Indigenous people, they were being racist about all indigenous cultures. So that’s OK then… oh, wait, no it’s not.

  7. Donna

    I could not believe it when I saw it.

    On the other hand, there is an Aboriginal-inspired ice skating routine where the dancers apparently did months of consultations to ensure they were respectful of Indigenous culture. Even on a purely aesthetic level it looks much better than this trainwreck.

  8. Hendo

    I watched the routine. It’s creepy and has hardly any moves in it that I have seen elsewhere in Aboriginal dance performances. And yeah, the music is nothing like it. Apart from any other levels of offence, it’s offensive on the basis that they’re saying it’s Indigenous… and yet the music is uh… not Aboriginal music.

  9. tigtog

    Their excuse seems to be that it’s meant to be a blending of all sorts of indigenous/aboriginal dance/music, not just Australian Aboriginal. But in that case why choose costumes that were so obviously Australian Aboriginal?

  10. Mindy

    They have really got it wrong haven’t they. Enough like Australian Aboriginal culture and paintings to be really offensive, but not enough like Australian Aboriginal to be authentic thus making it really offensive.

  11. bri

    This is horrendous. In so many ways. My husband’s Aboriginal family were mortified.

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