Saturday, 16 February 2008

"Thinking in English changes the essence of Ngaanyatjarra people's view of the world, pushing its central meanings to one side and ultimately disempowering them."

A thought from Fred Forbes now deceased. I think it goes to the crux of the problems we have here.

Our cultures are so different, we think differently, it is difficult to get any common ground. Even with the sorry effort I make to learn language, I do not speak it well, I do understand most of words that I hear. I do not think in the language and I do not think like a ngaanyatjarra person; the divide is huge, even with the strong good will from me and from the artists I work with.

The saving grace is the great generosity of these people. They wonder what on earth we are about, we confuse them terribly, but they will spend no end of time trying to share their knowledge and ideas with us, trying to help us to understand them.