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© Brenda L Croft/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

Cook-oo? Michael Watson at Invasion Day Rally

Date: 1988
610 x 505 mm, 0.1 kg
Display Dimensions: 610 x 505 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Brenda L Croft
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00028943

User Terms

    A black and white photograph titled 'Cook-oo? Michael Watson at Invasion Day Rally' by Brenda Croft. Taken at Redfern in Sydney on January 26, 1988, nationally known as the 'Bicennnenial Celebration Day'. Indigenous Australians protested strongly on this day by staging an alternate events to promote their view of 26 January 1788 being Invasion Day when the British set foot on the land their peoples had continously inhabited for 60,000 years.
    Here, Michael Watson raises his arms in a pose of strength wearing a t-shirt that read 'Cook - Who, Cook - Oo'.

    SignificanceThis is a powerful example of the growing voice of protest of Indigenous Australians over their treatment and dispossession experienced over the last two centuries. The Bicennenial Celebrations of 1988 were a strong focus for the voicing of an alternate and ignored view of history, their history.

    HistoryThe 1988 Bicentenary Australia Day celebrations in Sydney were marked by a huge and well-organised gathering and protest march by the Indigenous communities, many of whom had travelled to Sydney from all over the country. They travelled under the banner "Hope Justice and Freedom", to remind people - as their slogan went - that white Australia had a black history.

    Significant numbers of the non - Indigenous Australians also joined to create a crowd of around 40,000 people who marched from Redfern Oval to Hyde Park for a public rally. Aboriginal activist Gary Foley commented about the gathering: black and white Australians together in harmony…… this is what we have always said Australia could be.

    Related People
    Photographer: Brenda L Croft

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