Directing "My Skin, My Life"
Directing "My Skin, My Life"
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
Reproduced courtesy Museum Victoria
Cinematographer: Jenni Meaney
Editor: Cameron Crowley
Producer: Kathy Fox
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Wesley Enoch discusses his vision for "My Skin, My Life".
-My name's Wesley Enoch and I'm the director of the Indigenous section of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. And for me, this section was all about talking about being modern and being Aboriginal in this country. A lot of the time, we talk about the past and we talk about traditions.
And this section was about saying we are contemporary people, we are here, we are now, and we are quite powerful. It was so interesting as a director. Because you can't do big capital P political statements. You've got to do art and you've got to do stories and images that will be important to people. Not just aboriginal people, but all Australians.
And that was the biggest challenge for me. The boy in my section represents Australia and represent us and our need for permission and our need for direction in this country. And as an Aboriginal person, that's a very important thing for me. All the costumes were very contemporary.
And we wanted to get the sense of the street wear, that these are what contemporary people wear. And the woman on the canoe wore this very contemporary outfit. Even though she's got a bit of a traditional element to her. And we wanted to link her to all the women who were connected to the duck.
So there's a sense that the duck transforms again from woman to woman all the way through the show. What you saw with the eels and fish were these stylized images of black and white and very diagonal shapes. And that's a very Victorian thing. And it represented a time of plenty.
March is a time when the fish and eels are swimming. And it was also a great ceremonial and celebratory time for Wurunjeri people. The possum skin cloaks that the elders wore were made by artists in the communities. And it was a re-creation of a very traditional practice of possum skin cloak making.
And all the patterns were about their land and stories of what's happened in their areas. So the whole thing, the whole thing you watched really is about being contemporary in this country. About Aboriginal people being contemporary people, not just about being traditional.
And in some ways, it's about reawakening those traditional practices in a contemporary way. Not being a museum piece, but being alive and having something to offer right now. Offering that direction, offering that light, offering that sense of hope for the future.