Ben brings Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom

Talking with my son Ben (11) recently I learned how much Aboriginal content he has been bringing into his classroom. For example he was given this project;

colonial

Missing from here is an invitation to learn of Aboriginal people at this time. It is a missed opportunity to talk about a shared history and other important features of this time.

Ben chose to study William Barak, a famous Wurundjeri Leader of this time. Ben was born on, lives on and goes to school on Wurundjeri Land. By learning about local Aboriginal culture it connects him to his own Aboriginal identity, which he is proud of.

Here is a talk Ben recorded about some of the projects he has done.

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I am water and rock is the wall I crash against…

Rock is a great genre to turn towards when you just want to play and have fun. Invariably as I fall toward repetition of beat and chord and make electricity generated connections I become like water, and crash against rock to find new meanings. This piece has seen a few incarnations over the years with this version seeing me play with text from Margaret Cameron’s In Regard.

Looking through not at the looking and listening through not at the listening speak gently as a mammal loves to love, until the bending arms of language accept you

 

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Ya te volim… I love you

This song is an old re working of Ya the Volim first recorded when I was 26. It tells the story of when my dad looked after his mum, Anna Liebzeit, until she died. He was committed to the act of love. Her death, when my dad was 15, marked time. It was freedom, for both of them. Disassociation is common around difficult themes like death, but I am drawn to the fullness of it, because I want to know everything there is to know about love. This picture is one of the last I took of my dad in 2012, days before I held him in my arms and he died. I’d said to him,

“I’m all right dad, you do what you need to do. I love you”.

He knew I loved him. But he had no choice, he had to leave.

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Body of water… reconceptualising voice as an object of knowledge

This audio process was recorded as I conceived my relationship with the world through my relationship with sound. Active listening was instrumental here, it invited my body to surrender expectations, allowing me to experience art as a verb. Vibrational practices exploring difficult felt spaces became material when limitations were resisted and I made the decision not to reduce myself, instead choosing to bear witness. Margaret Cameron (2016) writes about being audience to Herself first;

In many ways it is beyond my comprehension that a thought or a feeling might become perceivable as dimensional. It is a miracle that I am the first to audience. In this way I learn.

This critical engagement with auto biography levers the personal into a radical reconnection of our relationships with one another.

The figure of sound

Cuckoo (Impossible logic)- ABC Airplay

Right now I can breathe on my own (mourning song with duduk)

Performance pictures working with voice and space. 

Singing Water, Gadigal Country. Incubator Residency, Queen Street Studio, Sydney, 2011

Cuckoo, Footscray Community Arts Residency, FCAC Melbourne. Paper and cardboard room made by Anna Liebzeit. Audience viewed the performance as they stood or walked around the perimeter of the room. The performance took place inside.

Membrane, a paper and cardboard site specific performance installation, Footscray Arts Centre. Slits cut into the paper walls were where the interior of the room could be viewed from. By Anna Liebzeit, 2005.