Great Shunned Land
We, as citizens of our beautiful country, deprive ourselves of grasping a strong and sound position on the world stage. Forming as the result of the fusing the ambitions of the “Great Southern Land” with the exotic cultural beauty of Australia’s first people and the extensive range of migrants peacefully entering our shores, our fortunate country has become a land of opportunity. We are a nation flourished within itself with the potential to have a dominant presence on the world. Aside from the political impacts Australia can enforce, we hold a voice to poise our greatest artists, developers and thinkers on a pedestal for the world to adore with true acclaim. Shouldn’t our most patriotic ambition be to cause global altercations in this way, to help elevate our world’s quality of life and garner true respect as a nation? For our elegant and young country it is utter insanity for us to neglect our own works and allow ourselves to be plundered by the outside world.
How is this apparent? By analysing our social practices, our art industries and the quantitive information we possess at our disposal, we are evoked with a blistering insight to the syndrome of ignorance we all have infused within us. Perhaps this is most apparent with our film industry. In 2017, Australian films consisted of a minuscule 4.1% of the films screened in Australia. And of the 100 highest grossing films in Australia during 2017, only four were created in our own homeland. The vast majority of the other 96 films in this bracket can easily be classified as mass marketed films from abroad (from the United States in particular). Even investigating this issue with an overall perspective outlines how much of impact creators of film from abroad have almost always dominated our cinemas. How can we neglect the content produced in our own country? Why should we alienate the filmmakers who spend their hard worked finances and their sprawling hours to create films, only to have their creations enter the world destined to become transparent entities?
This corrosion of our own art and our artists also extends out to music. The ARIA end of year singles chart for 2017 displays a pedestrian nine Australian songs, the highest of these being ‘Chameleon’ by Pnau at 32. As a country that claims to be proud and passionate of its local music, this is an alarming indicator of what we truly let enter our ears. While there is no problem with allowing international music onto our airwaves, giving it a pure avenue to counterpoint our national sounds. It’s an onslaught presence on our country of beautiful flora and fauna, as well as our national identity’s imprint.
Our engagement in sport also exemplifies our loss of our unique culture(s). The continually blooming attendances at soccer, basketball and rugby only show our general discontent and lack of desire with creating a sport of our own. Perhaps the only exception to this is Australian Rules Football: a sport based on the Indigenous Australian pastime of Marngrook and is progressively becoming embraced by people of all nationalities and all walks of life. Why not take this approach with all of our exports? Infuse what is truly Australian and rejoice in it. Thenceforth, it would evoke the world to perceive Australian from a different perspective. Not from the synthetic desert lands imagined by the rest of the Western world, but a diverse nation of beauty. A place established home for a unique and varied culture.
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