Award-winning Film maker in city
Tuesday, 3rd May, 2011
An award-winning Canadian artist and film maker with an interest in small Aboriginal communities visited the city over the weekend.
The most recent artist-in-residence at the Broken Hill Art Exchange, Annette Mangaard, spent her time visiting Menindee, Silverton and speaking to Aboriginal elders and artists.
Annette has written and directed 15 films in more than a decade as an independent filmmaker. Her most recent documentary was about a small town in the Canadian Arctic which sells art internationally to sustain itself.
She said yesterday that before coming to Australia she had imagined Broken Hill as a desert.
"I came and it was green ... incredibly beautiful," Annette said.
"I like it here, it's great. There is a large arts community and it seems like mining is not as big ... arts can keep the town alive and should be supported."
During her stay Desert Knowledge Australia Outback Business also introduced her to civic leaders involved with economic development and the creative industries.
Annette met with City Council, Film Broken Hill, Regional Development Australia and non-Indigenous and Indigenous elders and artists.
Members of the Aboriginal community that Annette interviewed included Beryl Carmichael, Bill Riley, Badger Bates and Irene Kemp.
In Menindee, she conducted some interviews and filmed the local landscape.
She said it was all part of a look at how indigenous people treat the land and what can be learnt from them.
Annette said speaking to the locals was "really interesting" and that Menindee Lakes were "beautiful". The only disappointment was that she didn't see much wildlife.
"I really wanted to see a kangaroo."
She said that something that all indigenous people had in common was their respect for Mother Nature and for other people.
"I didn't get any criticism here. No criticism of the mining or what white people have done to the environment. One criticism I did get was that the system is not as holistic.
"Indigenous people have an awful lot of knowledge and they have to fight to have the government respect that and acknowledge it," she said.
Annette said she didn't have enough money to make a film but was hoping to get it. If not, the footage will be downloaded onto a website.
Annette leaves for Sydney today to exhibit her work at the Armory Gallery.
She will also visit Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.