This is a portrait I took of a friend of mine Maurial Spearim. I call it ‘My Spirit Goes Before Me’.
She is a proud Murri woman from the Gamilaroy mob of north western NSW.
She is an intelligent, beautiful and very fine actor who is performing in a solo show at this very minute at the Museum of Victoria here.
I am sure that she, like many other of my friends and myself also found it incredibly insulting, disturbing and amazingly stupid that the Foxtel commentators at the Australian Open, including recognised past tennis great Wally Masur, discussed one of the Spanish tennis players Almagro, not in terms of his tennis game but in terms of his skin colour. After remarking on how ‘olive’ skinned he was, Masur and his co-host leapt to the immediate conclusion that Almagro must therefore be related to the Moorish people of Northern Africa.
That Almagro would therefore be able to cope with the heat at the Australian Open better than the other players. The subtext to this of course, based in the history of the slave trade, is that ‘black’ men work better in the heat because they came from hot countries and therefore you could justify leaving a slave to work through the heat of the day with little shade or water because they naturally could ‘cope’.
What a completely racist insinuation… How is it that the braniacs that came up with such a discussion have jobs as media commentators?
By their reckoning then, Sam Stosur could never win the Australian Open because her skin colour is just not suited to the conditions in Australia…