The RMIT Global Cities Research Institute recently hosted a free screening of John Pilger’s latest film, Utopia.
Co-hosted by the Institute’s Global Indigeneity and Reconciliation Program, Concerned Australians and Arena journal, the screening was attended by more than 700 people.
Charting the countless violence against Australian Indigenous peoples, Utopia is a confronting yet important documentary that challenges past and present denials of human rights abuses.
The film’s release comes at a time of renewed calls for the Australian government to formally recognise Indigenous peoples’ human rights through treaty.
The audience was welcomed by Associate Professor Barry Judd, Indigenous Specialisation, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.
“I would like to thank Mr Pilger for his work in raising confronting questions about Australia’s history and the problematic race relations that continue to exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,“ Associate Professor Judd said.
Leila Gurruwiwi, from NITV’s Marngrook Footy Show, offered an Acknowledgement of Country, which was followed by the launch of a new book, In the Absence of Treaty, by the Honourable Alastair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia.
The film was introduced by Richard Frankland, film-maker, author and singer/songwriter.
“Documentaries like Utopia are important in helping viewers to step across the cultural abyss and providing us all with the ability to contribute to the cultural tapestry of Australia,“ Mr Frankland said.
After the screening Kutcha Edwards and his trio movingly performed the Yothu Yindi song Treaty (Mp3 5Mb) as a tribute to Dr M Yunupingu and his work towards reconciliation.
Associate Professor Judd concluded the evening by thanking the event organisers and reminding the audience that we must understand Australia’s history in order to educate current and future generations.
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