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Cultural Precinct

All this creating speaking breathing on Kaurna country demands more than just an acknowledgment of a peoples past present and future, for this place, this space, is abundant with stories and strong families who have always had agency, moving through and resisting what this particular cultural-precinct represents: Tarnanthi – rise, come-forth, spring-up, appear. Right here, in this potent-place, you will find Festival offerings beyond a feast of art, for this cultural-precinct along Adelaide’s North Terrace is no easy place for everyone to navigate…. these limestone walls whisper a conglomerate fragmented journey that has lead us, toward this day, surrounded by precious gifts like these images, these hanging skirts, these glass bush-yams, these baskets, and now, in this moment, I call on you to reflect on the very walls from which they hang...

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these limestone walls      frame institutions of power              shape the
‘main story’       this colonial ‘free’ State       /           these North Terrace
statues                bronzed famous faces               symbols of colonialism
Empire-revered                /                         next door the Parade Ground
original quarry       raw materials morph     grand buildings abound      /
limestone mined           from this old Kaurna campsite     Red-Kangaroo
stories      ripped from the ground    /        these limestone walls    these
limestone walls             /        consider this Armory           that housed a
morgue             cells and gallows            watch our people hang           /
see mounted police             perform military functions      “pacified” our
warriors             on colonial frontiers      /     these wretched walls   this
Armory building               hear horses-hooves gallop     on cobblestoned
blood             /           this limestone heritage   revered cultural-precinct
our bodies stolen                                                                              de-
fleshed and preserved           /             these limestone walls          these
limestone walls         /           consider this place    the South Australian
Museum      their proudest collection wins     the Empire’s great race    /
an uncanny replica            London’s Natural History Museum           but
what is ‘natural’       about their history of this place?      /    they ‘set up
camp’                   on great expeditions                to study and collect us
‘experts’ in teams     /       their cabinets of curiosity     their objects and
specimens         their racialised hierarchy       our human remains        /
these limestone walls        these limestone walls       /        the Migration
Museum              was the old Protector’s Office           the Rations Depot
the Colonial Store        /         blankets and flour     sugar and tea     the
removal of children      the first Kaurna school    /     and behind the Art
Gallery            the Radford Auditorium      the ammunitions-store      for
military-police               /       then a storage-place            for Aboriginal
Records         where paper-trails trace          surveillance and control    /
consider the paperwork            the archiving process       to consign and
classify      this resource maintained  /   consider this fantasy  monolith-
archive         its stunning all-knowing         so easily sustained              /
these limestone walls      these limestone walls  /  strive to navigate this
violent place      be still and listen    there are waterholes here  /    these
fresh water springs                flow a limestone-memory          erode and
expose         our truth will appear.