Black and White: A tale of cities and men
Additional Publication Information
The Loaded Ground: Michael Jagamara Nelson & Imants Tillers : ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 16 August - 23 September 2012
The local schoolteacher was over by Ulampawurru (Haasts Bluff mountain) taking a photograph of its rocky features. When she turned around to photograph the settlement of Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) in the middle distance, the pangkalangu, the hairy giant who lives inside Ulampawurru, grabbed her from behind. Terrified, she screamed and ran for her life. But she had no reason to be afraid. The pangkalangu only wanted to comfort and console her as he feels sorry for white people because of their pale skin and their ignorance of the law. He would have killed her instantly if she had been black. This is a true story.
Michael Nelson Jagamara told us this story at the begining of our meeting to discuss his collaboations with Imants Tillers. It is, like their story, about the meeting of two orders, two laws, which for Jagamara are designated by the terms "white" and "black". This outmoded terminology remains powerful for those who still feel the deep wound caused by the racial cleavage imposed by British imperialism over a century ago.