Perhaps there comes a time when the writer needs to put down the pen and become the listener. Indigenous storytelling runs deep. Never has it been more important for us to stop, listen and really hear the story. Meet Richard and Abraham, proud indigenous Gold Coast creatives who have built and now coordinate an incredibly creative film maker’s space @wirrimstudio situated in Burleigh Heads.
One late afternoon in his studio, Richard shared…
‘I’ve done a lot before we created this studio. My degree in social work and a job with Foreign Affairs saw me end up in Bali just after the bombings in 2002.
I helped families and the authorities recover and were fortunate to receive an OAM for that work, but it was after the death of a friend that I hit a real low.
I reflected on a lot in my life and so made my way to the Gold Coast with a need to return to storytelling, a real passion of mine My son and I make films to tell our stories… unfiltered, honest and raw stories. We’ve hit some roadblocks in the process but it is time now to push forward.
Yes, I have opinions about what is going on in the world. It’s time to stop the rhetoric because when all the marches cease and the noise dies, will there be a shift? Will there be real change? Until there is, we will forever visit this.
I don’t want my kids to have to justify who they are and their place in this world ever again. I’m tired of the violence. I’m tired of feeling like our voices hit brick walls.
I hold out for the day when white men stop and listen because that is when real change will happen. Together, we need to turn hopelessness into real hope.
My dream?… to tell our stories. We want to build our community, a creative hub for filmmakers where everyone is welcome, black and white.
I am a bit over the ‘gatekeepers’ who can be biased when judging films to determine inclusion into festivals. They seem to let through content that sits well with them and yet sometimes people need to see the uncomfortable stuff too. The truth is powerful and awareness is everything. Perhaps we can be our own gatekeepers for a change. There are creatives on the coast who don’t have an outlet so we plan to change that. That’s a worthy goal in my opinion”.
Thanks, Richard and Abraham. I’m already in awe of what will be created within those Wirrim walls. There are days when all I see is cloud cover. Then there are days when I sit with people like you and I catch the light creeping through the shadows and decide again to stay tender and hopeful. Those moments are not to be taken for granted.