Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Indigenous writer and anthologist Bruce Pascoe draws on first-hand accounts from colonial journals to dispel the myth that Aboriginal people were hunters and gatherers and "did nothing with the land that resembled agriculture".
VIDEO: This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
In this powerful talk, Pascoe demonstrates a radically different view of Australian history that we all need to know – one that has the potential to change the course of Australians' relationship with the land. Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required. Bruce Pascoe's career has spanned teaching, farming, bartending, writing, working on an archaeological site, and researching Aboriginal languages. A Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man born in Melbourne, he grew up on a remote island in the Bass Strait. Bruce has written more than 20 books. His non-fiction book, Dark Emu (2014), won the Book of the Year and Indigenous Writers' Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. He says, "Aboriginal people have always had a story to tell. We have always been storytellers and artists and singers and dancers and we've just brought this into the general Australian culture. Non-Aboriginal Australians enjoy it and are starting to embrace it".