Posted on February 20, 2014 - by Holly
Can justice be restored to the Namatjira family?
From the remote Australian desert to the opulence of Buckingham Palace – Namatjira Project is the iconic story of the Namatjira family, tracing their quest for justice.
Albert Namatjira was the first Indigenous person to be made a citizen by the Australian Government.
The founder of the Indigenous art movement in Australia, his artworks gave many Australians their first glimpses into to the outback in heart of the country. He was widely celebrated, exhibited globally, and introduced to Queen Elizabeth.
However, Namatjira was caught between cultures – paraded as a great Australian, and at the same time treated with contempt.
He was wrongfully imprisoned and in 1959 he died a broken man.
In 1983 the Government sold the copyright to his entire catalogue of artworks to an art dealer.
Today his family fight for survival, justice and to regain their grandfather’s copyright.
This film tells one of Australia’s most potent stories – a prism through which to examine the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people the world over.
The Namatjira Legacy Trust
Namatjira Project is more than just a film. It is part of a campaign to restore justice to the Namatjira family.
The Namatjira Legacy Trust is the centerpiece of a campaign to secure the future of the iconic Namatjira family and community.
“Our Western Aranda communities today face many of the same difficulties Albert Namatjira did over sixty years ago. We are strong, but our painting tradition – our livelihood – is fragile. Getting this documentary out for the world to see will help us continue the work passed down to us by Albert. Help us to keep our culture strong, to teach the young ones and to celebrate our remarkable heritage into the future.”
– The Namatjira Family
Albert Namatjira is one of the most revered names in Australian art history. His artworks gave most Australians their first glimpses into the heart of the country.
The Namatjira family are holders of this celebrated heritage, and yet today face many challenges.
The watercolour movement is their strongest asset – internationally recognised, and an avenue to generate income at the same time as connecting to country, heritage and culture.
Namatjira taught his children to paint, and they taught theirs. The fifth generation is now taking up the tradition.
The Trust will support this art movement and also aims to reinstate the copyright to Albert Namatjira’s artworks to the Namatjira family.
ACT NOW to support the Namatjiras – www.namatjiratrust.org