Black man White man
"In 2017 I meet Aboriginal artist Marilyn Torrens from Jubal Bunjalung country. We are in Sydney studying Aboriginal Cultural Arts at Eora Aboriginal College, now TAFE. Marilyn allows me to photograph and animate a painting she had made of a rainbow serpent, to include in a Living Data installation presented with our teacher Chico Monks, at the conference, New Science for a Changing World.
Now, in May 2020, Marilyn emails me this photo, taken in September 2019 during the terrible bushfires around Tabulam and Drake in northern NSW. Marilyn asks:
'... Look closely at it. I can see a real old aboriginal and in the side of him I can see an old white man. Let me know if you can.'
I say, 'I can! I see ancestor spirits in the smoke. I see them both looking up into the sky'
The black and white faces make me think of Victor Steffensen who wrote, after sharing stories with with Indigenous people in Finland: '...Today the disconnected people come in all colours, from black, white, brindle and brown. There was a deepening understanding that I was starting to become aware of, and it seemed to be a connection that underpins us all.' (Fire Country: How Indigenous fire management could help save Australia. 2020. p.118)"
Lisa Roberts 2020