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Documentary series. James Fox tells the story of Australia's indigenous culture, the oldest continuous culture anywhere in the world.

James Fox tells the story of Australia's indigenous culture, the oldest continuous culture anywhere in the world, and the disaster of its contact with the West.

He traces how Aboriginal peoples were almost destroyed by the impact of European colonization, but held on to their art to survive, to flourish and ultimately, to share their culture with the world.

James Fox begins by exploring the ancient rock art of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, depicting fish and animals in an 'x-ray' style developed over 8000 years. The arrival of Captain Cook in Botany Bay, he argues, changed everything. Over the following centuries Aboriginal peoples were destroyed or marginalized as the new nation of Australia developed. Yet, in the 20th century, through works such as the watercolour landscapes of Albert Namatjira or the dot painting style of the Western desert, art has enabled Aboriginal people to re-imagine an Australia of their own.

Australia might long have been colonised but now, James Fox argues, Aboriginal people are recolonising it with their imaginations.

59 minutes

Last on

Mon 11 May 2020 00:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:27

    Oren'tchy

    Si Chacun Savait

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter James Fox
Executive Producer Russell Barnes
Assistant Producer Alex Brisland
Editor Tom Thistlethwaite
Production Manager Clare Burns
Composer Jack C Arnold
Production Company ClearStory Ltd
Director of photography Samuel Jackson

Broadcasts

Albert Namatjira's unique vision

Albert Namatjira's unique vision

The Aboriginal artist's outback paintings brought fame and set in motion an art revival.

Paradise lost: Paul Gauguin's quest for the exotic in Tahiti

Paradise lost: Paul Gauguin's quest for the exotic in Tahiti

Paintings tell the story of the artistically brilliant but controversial Paul Gauguin.