A fascinating post from Thriving in the Desert about threats to the Warakurna Art Centre.
Quoted from the post:
I have faith in the artists, they have always stood strongly behind their enterprise. There is an extraordinary group of strong men and women in Warakurna. They have a great sense of civic duty. We believe that carpet-bagging can only be stopped if the artists are informed and empowered and learn how to keep their businesses strong. We currently attend quarterly governance training with other Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centres in the region.
We also believe carpet-bagging can only be stopped if consumers become better informed about the Indigenous art and craft sector and are given pathways for purchasing works ethically.
It has in some ways has been a harrowing year for Warakurna Artists. The Executive, artists and myself have been intimidated and threatened. We have had to put our hearts on the line and had to make many stands for the Art Centre. However this challenge has in a way made Warakurna Artists even stronger.
Remote Aboriginal communities face many difficult challenges. Warakurna Artists is much more than ‘making a quick buck or dots for dollars’. It is about a group of marginalised people who have worked hard to create something joyous and positive. They want to create something for their children, they want to keep culture strong and like most Australians want to be valued and respected. They want a fair go!
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