Main : ecology, human rights, Indigenous, non-fiction
210 x 140 mm
Zohl de Ishtar
Mapping inter-cultural relationships as they are played out in a remote Aboriginal settlement in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert, this book challenges White Australians to reconsider their relationship with Indigenous peoples. Unpacking White cultural practices, it explores the extraordinary difficulties which Indigenous women face when they attempt to maintain and pass their cultural knowledge, customs and skills on to their children and youth. From 1999 to 2001, Zohl dé Ishtar lived and worked intimately with a group of thirteen women elders to establish a vibrant intergenerational cultural knowledge transmission program: the Kapululangu Women's Law and Culture Centre. Through this profound experience Zohl identified 'Living Culture', the cultural energy which is created when individuals live their culture to its fullest expression enabling them to transform their worlds even when to do so seems impossible. Her profound radical feminist analysis of the socio-cultural context surrounding this Indigenous women's initiative challenges White attitudes and behaviours and offers a deeper comprehension to those who aspire to be involved in collaborative projects with Indigenous peoples. A lyrical and passionate book.
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This is one of the strongest, most consistent, insightful and well documented case studies of the nature and impact of racist and sexist and class dynamics that I have read. The author's confident interdisciplinarity is also a rare and essential component of this impressive study of the complex integrated historical and current spiritual, political, cultural, social and personal elements of White Culture's interaction with and impact on Black Women's Law.
We live in a time no less dangerous than those of previous generations. It is our personal responsibility to learn how internalised racism poisons aboriginal lifeworlds as surely as kero poisoned waterholes and strychnine poisoned flour. Only when the truths contained in these pages are fully felt, and our part in these realities comprehended, will we begin to understand how we can shift the stranglehold of the dominant paradigm. We each hold the potential to transform apathy into evolutionary action. Zohl’s story dares to dream visions into reality.
'…it stands as a valuable historical reference and as a memoir of a courageous woman. Zohl dé Ishtar was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as a member of a body of 1000 women who have committed their lives to peace. This book reflects that commitment, and offers valuable insight into the perseverance-through-struggle of the amazing Kapululangu women elders of Wirrimanu.'Robyn Hillman-Harrigan, Traffic
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