Art Series: Dare To BE Culturally Authentic


When the BRussells Tribunal (2009) collaborated to write a book on cultural cleansing in Iraq the researchers were absolute in their insistence on accurate documentation and painstaking inquiry.  They say that the destruction of the cultural capital of Iraq was deliberate.  They make serious allegations about the erasure and destruction of the cultural heritage of the Iraqi people.  They prove their point with facts and evidence.

Post-invasion chaos created conditions under which the cultural foundations of the state could be undermined. The kinds of inquiry that led to books like BRussells Tribunal (2009) are invaluable when scholars set out to preserve the many cultures throughout the world that find themselves in danger of being destroyed.

Empowering Cultural Expression

Another way to address the problem of cultural destruction, its consequences and its antidote is for creative writers such as Di Morrissey to write entertaining novels such as Kimberley Sun. (2003)

Although this is a work of pure fiction, the story is entwined around a deep underlying theme about both the destruction of the environment and the destruction of Indigenous cultures   In Kimberley Sun, Morrissey talks eloquently of Australia Indigenous struggles and the Afghan difficulties from which one of the heroines of the novel has fled.

“I enjoyed telling and writing stories,” she says on her website but, “it was a long journey to become a published and successful author.”   Her stories are moving romances tinged with mystery.  She is a very well researched writer and she is able to bring the Australian story, featuring rough patches and foibles as well as romance and adventure to life.

Morrissey says that the Australian actor Chips Rafferty, taught her dozens of Australian poems and shared his experiences in the Australian outback and the poet Dorothrea Mackeller, whose poem, ‘My Country’ has such an important place in Australian literature, was also an influence on her life.

If one listens to enough of Morrissey’s novels, her environmental themes and her questions about war, injustice and tourism and its effect on indigenous cultures speak boldly and clearly about conservation both environmental and cultural.

Empowering Students To BE Who They Are

Many schools have become aware that it is important to encourage students to BE who they really are.  This incudes making space for them to be engaged in the authentic expression of their culture.

Australian teachers influenced by the Values Education website provided by the Australian Government are being professionally developed and sensitive to intercultural conservation and the negative issues surrounding cultural homogenisation.  They  actively seek out ways to experience the culture of others in an authentic way.

Cultural Dance an Ideal Sharing Point

Schools are becoming more aware that cultural dance is a very effective sharing point for children and young adults who give of their energy and bask in the pride of sharing their culture with others. This video of young Indian dancers called Daisey Girl, shows them happily sharing their culture with a school population at a celebration in 2010.   Their dance captures the love, acceptance and sharing that occurs when energy is harnessed in this way.

Modernity Awakes

Modernity awakes, to find that a push to homogeneity brings in its wake tragedy leaving the world a less colorful and loving place.  Teachers respond by seeking ways to “be more authentic,” when they teach students about an intercultural world.

The poster “Dare to Be” painted by senior students of Our Lady’s College, Annerley acclaims to the students who come from across the globe to “Dare To Be.”  It is an enigmatic question?  Are they being asked to be authentic? involved ? more just? or just happy?


Baker,W,B., Ismael,S,T.   (2009)Cultural Cleansing in Iraq.  Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered   BRussells Tribunal. 2009

Morrissey,D. (2003) Kimberley Sun. Bolinda Books.

Christmas Happening called Synergy, Sculpture Creation  Ideas morph, catch on, take hold and grow as they synergise into other spinoff ideas and projects. This syntegration is reflected in the name Arts Fire.

The Miracle of the First Poinsettia a Mexican Christmas Story  This Mexican story book brims with socio and emotional learning when children share the Miracle of the First Poinsettia accompanied by origami activities.