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DAVID CROSLING/AAP

250 years since Captain Cook landed in Australia, it’s time to acknowledge the violence of first encounters

250 years since Captain Cook landed in Australia, it’s time to acknowledge the violence of first encounters. The Conversation, CC BY63 Mo (download)
The way Australia has commemorated Cook's arrival has changed over time – from military displays in 1870 to waning interest in Cook in the 1950s, followed by the fever pitch celebrations of 1970.
Vincent Namatjira, Western Arrernte people, Northern Territory, born 1983, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Close Contact, 2018, Indulkana, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on plywood; Gift of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for the Ramsay Art Prize 2019. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Grant Hancock

Terra nullius interruptus: Captain James Cook and absent presence in First Nations art

For too long, Cook was a promise recollected in pigment, bronze and stone. Contemporary First Nations artists are challenging this imagery.
Uncle Fred Deeral as little old man in the film The Message, by Zakpage, to be shown at the National Museum of Australia in April. Nik Lachajczak of Zakpage

An honest reckoning with Captain Cook’s legacy won’t heal things overnight. But it’s a start

An honest reckoning with Captain Cook’s legacy won’t heal things overnight. But it’s a start. The Conversation41,4 Mo (download)
The impact of 1770 has never eased for Aboriginal people. It was a collision of catastrophic proportions.
A scene from the author’s film The Message, commissioned by the National Museum of Australia. At the first encounter in Botany Bay, two Gweagal warriors threw stones and spears at Cook, saying ‘warrawarrawa’, meaning ‘they are all dead’. Nik Lachajczak of Zakpage

‘They are all dead’: for Indigenous people, Cook’s voyage of ‘discovery’ was a ghostly visitation

Incidents from Cook's first voyage highlight themes relevant in Indigenous-settler relations today: environmental care, reconciliation and governance. This collision of beliefs, it seems, wasn't lost on Cook.
A picture titled ‘Captain Cook taking possession of the Australian continent on behalf of the British crown, AD 1770’. Drawn and engraved by Samuel Calvert from an historical painting by Gilfillan in the possession of the Royal Society of Victoria. Trove/National Library of Australia

Captain Cook ‘discovered’ Australia, and other myths from old school text books

To find out how the teaching of Captain Cook in Australian schools has changed, I examined textbooks used in the 1950s until today.
Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) with Doug Nicholls on Frenchman’s Beach, La Perouse, on April 29 1970. During the Cook bicentenary protest, activists declared a day of mourning for Aboriginal nations. Image from the Tribune collection from the 1970 Cook Bi-centenary protest, to be featured in the State Library of NSW's upcoming exhibition 'Eight Days in Gamay.'

Cooking the books: how re-enactments of the Endeavour’s voyage perpetuate myths of Australia’s ‘discovery’

Re-enactments of James Cook's arrival in Australia have served only to gloss over the violence of his interactions with Indigenous people and elevate Australia's imperial and British connections.
‘Death of Captain Cook’ by George Carter. 1781. Oil on canvas. The painting depicts the killing of Cook during a skirmish with Hawaiians on his third Pacific voyage in 1779. National Library of Australia collection

Captain Cook wanted to introduce British justice to Indigenous people. Instead, he became increasingly cruel and violent

Over the course of his three voyages, Cook was frustrated by the refusal of Indigenous people to embrace Western ways. He grew increasingly punitive, embodying the 'savagery' he ostensibly despised.
When Indigenous elder Binno (played by William McPherson) teaches dances to three young men, a bigger plan emerges. Christopher Woe

Black Drop Effect review: infusing the present moment with layers of the past

The world premiere of Nardi Simpson's Black Drop Effect takes in the complex histories of Aboriginal responses to commemoration, and makes space for protest, cultural reclamation and negotiation.

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