Greetings from Broome and Gantheaume Point. If you look at a map of Broome it is the Northern tip of the point jutting out into the Indian Ocean right near the light-house or the right eye of the hammerhead as it is called.
We are fortunate to be able to stay in Cori and John’s house, where we have been experiencing the big wet. Though we haven’t had continual rain, when it rains it is dramatic. We bought a $160 digital camera and Michael took up the camera as challenge to see what magic he could make of a digital Box Brownie
Luckily we were spared from cyclone Gertrude, though the rains that followed together with enormous tides flooded the streets of Broome.
Here is our friend Cori with Marion enjoying sundown at Gantheaume a few days before the cyclone.
We came back to Broome from Derby the day after when they were still mopping up.
Our trip to Derby was in order to visit the Mowanjum Community with whom Michael had made films in the 70’s and 80’s.
Unfortunately there are not many of the elders left, but we did see Puja who is now 80 and still painting and an active member of the community. As Michael says, “… if you are going to have an aboriginal skin aunty then Puja beams with the energy of the old ways and what an aunty she is”. A Community Cultural and Arts Centre is being built and is scheduled to open in July.
Part of the reason Michael wanted to go back and reestablish a relationship is because he has a stone axe that was given to him by Sam Woolagoodja as a thank you for taking them back up to ‘spirit’ country and making the films for generations to come. Times are very difficult in the community as they are elsewhere for Indigenous people. In recent times there have been 7 deaths, 2 of them suicides which is an indication of the problems they are faced with. We are going back up there next week to read a letter Michael, our editor Kathy James and I have developed in the passed couple of weeks, which as Michael says, “is a working model” to create new editions of work to be part of their Cultural and Arts Centre.
Marion and Michael Edols