Saturday, January 26, 2013

Invasion Day and other stories

Invasion Day. 2013
I am a proud Australian and that is why I dislike Australia Day. I find the patriotism is as shallow as the foreign made Australian flags displayed proudly by all and sundry today. Why I am uncomfortable with Australia Day is that the 26th of January is the wrong date to celebrate as a national day. 

I fully understand why my Koorie friends feel hurt and anger because on this date in 1788 their ancestors had their lives irrevocably changed as a culture. The 26th of January if anything should be called rightly Colonisation day. 

We should celebrate our national day on the 1st of January - Federation Day. The day in 1901 when we became a nation onto ourselves. A day when we released the shackles of our British colonial roots. Federation day would be devoid of any colonial baggage as we can celebrate a date when a nation was born, a beginning of the new 'Age of Enlightenment' leading up to what we have become today - a modern sophisticated culturally diverse nation that embraces all our citizens no matter where they are originally from. 

As our Aboriginal people feel that today is 'Invasion Day', the 26th of January will never he inclusive of all Australians. It is a date that will forever drive a wedge in our nation and perhaps should be abandoned. 

Maybe it is time as a grown up nation we have a public holiday that recognises our traditional custodians - Reconciliation day. A day we can say thank you to the Koories for their role in our nations history, a day we can recognise past wrongs and a day we can move forward and build this nation together as one. I suggest February 13th would be an ideal day for this to happen. Why that date? Most Koories would remember where they were on that remarkable day in 2008. Do you?

Invasion Day, 2013, is my personal response to Australia day and some of the troubles associated with it. The invasion in my image talks about the  'Bogan' attitude that has pervaded this day for some time. The wearing of the Australian flag by loud drunken yobbos that use the day to belittle and abusing anything that is remotely 'foreign'. The bare breasted woman holding the flag evokes Liberty Leading the People (1830) by Eugène Delacroix. 

Admonishing Dwarfs. 2013.
In Admonishing 
Dwarfs, 2013 also

use an image from art history, from Jacques-Louis David painting The Death of Socrates (1787). Instead of the great Socrates admonishing his students at the moment of his execution by poisoning, my image has me surround by dwarfs from Snow White. Personally I think Grumpy is conniving something. Never trusted him. 


  1. damn straight neale

    I think grumpy should be in charge of oz day celebrationaries next year - oh wait..... I think he already is....

  2. I think you are mistaken Ronnie. Dopey has, and always will be in charge of Oz day celebrations.