‘This is our land’, 2006 by Hari Ho

image of ‘This is our land’ 2006 by Hari Ho

Artist's statement

This photograph was taken at a time when many in Aboriginal communities felt a strong suspicion that the Howard government had a hidden agenda to revoke the permit system in the Northern Territory which would then allow uranium mining on traditional Aboriginal land. There was at the time an acute political awareness about an impending land grab waiting only for a suitable excuse for it to happen. I asked Donald and Moses, traditional land owners whom I have come to know from previous trips to the Gunbalanya community, to sit on the land as they often do and to assert, with their hand on the land, directly to my camera 'This is our land'. As events turned out, their suspicions about the permit system being revoked were wholly justified.