Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What’s so funny about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander humour?

12 March 2015, 6.24am AEDT

What’s so funny about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander humour?













Constantina Bush flips Australia’s history on its head for laughs during Blak Cabaret. Pia Johnson


The Conversation 

https://theconversation.com/whats-so-funny-about-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-humour-38484

Click on Comments to add or view them.

25 comments:

  1. EXCELLENT article Ange
    m oxoxox

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  2. Yes!!!… It's a great article.

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  3. Goth Treater has tweeted you! Great writing Ange, well done!

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  4. Congratulations, Angelina! I can and will advertise this as a new member's new publication in the next AHSN Digest.

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  5. Yura Murray
    logged in via Facebook
    The hiatus in comedy/humour on screen presence highlights, an important issue we all seem to gloss over. Rather then call out the racists, bigots, and fascist we have endeavoured to break it to them via humour over the years. We have to be careful about ventriloquism infiltrating our voices.

    These days I have an inkling that our meteoric rise in presence on screen has a subversive or even subliminal undertone of oppression. Lateral violence can easily be projected onto the artist on screen.

    I will offer two minority issues from your above mentioned list of performances that can be should be considered for dialogue I would like to explore more, particularly to the appropriation of so called norms or mores.

    1 - Mary G. There is a Worldwide transgender movement which objects to charactertures of them by straight people & also a Hollywood uproar about black males playing Gay Bi Trans or Intersex people.

    2 - Due to the small population of Blackfellas there is a danger of identifying individuals or groups of individuals for ridicule. This could turn slap-stick into slap upside the head!

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  6. Thanks Angelina - I really enjoyed reading this thoughtful contribution to 'what is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander humour'. I particularly loved how you recognised the varying tasks of humour in our community "as a resistance to oppression, an expression of identity, a means of survival and a tool for healing". I know commentaries around 'race' can be particularly sensitive for us, given it has and continues to be a site of oppression. Though it makes perfect sense that we would have some fairly insightful (and hilarious) commentaries to make on this subject. How we do this however I agree, we need to keep yarning about and consider the implications of if. Love your work :)

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  7. Thank you for the insight. Agreed, we need to see more debate and discussion surrounding each of the concerns you have mentioned, and comedy is a fantastic conversation starter. One can only hope that these discussions are not glossed or ignored while the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders are trying to tell us and explore the rich history that is offered.

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  8. Ann Marie AngebrandtMarch 11, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Congratulations on a thought-provoking piece!

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  9. Good work Angelina, really interesting.

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  10. Indigenous people see humour from all the different problems that we experience in life, its just most non Indigenous people don't get to see it.

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  11. Good writing there Sis - all true. I reckon that one of the challenges with transferring our "laughing with the mob" type comedy at home to media TV / Film etc, is to try and keep its flow and natural "in the moment" presentation. Somehow between the original yarn/concept and the onscreen performance, (the "Murriness"), gets lost and the delivery turns into gammon, pushed out, over the top unrepresentive stuff.

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  12. and many people are appalled at the reality. Irony is lost on them - - but it does work on those who know it for what it is.

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  13. As a non-indigenous Australian, I found Babakeueria not only funny but also uncomfortably instructive.

    You posit:

    Are we giving permission for non-Indigenous viewers to laugh at us or with us?
    Maybe, you could also include enabling non-indigenous viewers to laugh (uncomfortably) at ourselves. It's not a bad way for us to learn.

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  14. Thanks! I've shared it with all my friends!

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  15. Not because you are my friend, but people need to hear you. What you wrote was spot on. People keep trying to place all indigenous in this little box. Continue to preach the truth, sis.

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  16. Great article ! Love your work. Xxx

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  17. Not an easy topic to write about, thanks Angelina !

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  18. Thanks for that. If I remember rightly, we met a couple of years ago at the humour studies network conference, didn't we? I think you showed a clip then.

    And a good article about Aboriginal humour, including an old favourite Barbekueria!

    Cheers.

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  19. The article its brilliant.

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  20. Great article Angelina.

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  21. Hi Angelina, great article, I really enjoyed reading it. I too think that comedy provides an innovative and interesting avenue for better social communication in Australia - as Henri Bergson has said, let's put humour back into the social context in which it belongs.

    On that note, it seems to me that who says 'what, when & where' is a good way of gaging its appropriateness . Comedy can be empowering, and it can be belittling, recognising this power is important for us all to remember.

    Oh, and Blak Cabaret was just wonderful too - I hope it keeps playing!

    Thanks again for your insights.

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  22. When the Bush Mechancs came out, I reckoned their humour was decades ahead of whitey Aussie humour. Now with the passing of some decades, they are still way ahead of white Aussie humour.

    I wish they would make another series.

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  23. So true about that era of satire back then. It is so removed from satire of today! Perhaps the shared hardship of that era has fallen on the deaf ear of some of those which need decolonisation.
    Sad thing is in this age of privilege and entitlement of some Indigenous Australians, this generation of satirist will be rewarded for what they think is subversive. Unknowingly (perhaps) producing subliminally oppressive and destructive notions in the psyche of the silent majority of undecided, unknowing or swaying mainstream Australians..
    The saddest thing of all is the social media feasibility being done is encouraging the nonsensical notions of those laughing at us. Then those who are laughing with us are silenced because the psyche pendulum has swung is favour of the bigots racist & fascist. .
    From my point of view, one of! my mentors said was "it has to get worse before it can get any better", unfortunately! As a positive note - we Blackfella's have been down this road many many times and will survive.

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  24. Thanks Angelina for drawing attention to this topic. Indigenous humour is compelling and pervasive in the Pacific. It is inbuilt in the character of people here. We lived for 9 years in PNG and howled daily speaking in Tok Pisin - you cannot have a conversation without encountering light hearted banter laced with acute personal observation. True intelligence.I am not expert but I am convinced that Australian humour owes a lot to those early years of contact between the invaders and cheerfully independent and observant Aboriginal peoples.It pains me that our earnest politicians have been renowned since contact for suppressing in one way or another (including some deadly actions and deadly education), the natural vitality of the people here.But you are not about to give in are you! Goodonya mate you deserve a 'deadly' :-).

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