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'Resistance of Aboriginals' a hit at Kochi Biennale


Kochi, Jan 4
'Embassy', an installation set up by noted Australian artist Richard Bell as a symbol of the resistance of the aboriginals, is making waves at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art being held here.

The 'Embassy' has been created by putting up a tent outdoors at the Biennale venue in Fort Kochi.

The installation reflects a theme that brings to light the discrimination and exploitation faced by Australia's aboriginal population even after the colonial period, and calls for the defence of the aboriginal perople all over the world.

A descendant of the aboriginal tribe, 70-year-old Richard Bell decries the owner-slave mentality still existing deep-rooted in certain human minds, as something that should be most despised.

"Can it be blamed if, to express their strong displeasure, the aboriginals open an embassy in their own land? The embassy has been taken up as a symbol reflecting the pitiful condition of aboriginals at an international level," Bell pointed out.

The tent, 'Aboriginal Embassy', has been envisioned as a place for holding exhibitions, video presentations, and discussions to ensure the survival and welfare of aboriginals and to support institutions fighting on their behalf.

The exterior of the tent exhibits posters depicting the sharp outcry against discrimination and exploitation.

One of them reads: "Why is democracy being celebrated when life as an aboriginal is forbidden?"

Bell, reputed as the topmost contemporary artist in Australia, is also a well-known activist.

'Embassy' has been exhibited at prominent contemporary art expos worldwide. Big canvas paintings made by Richard Bell in response to racism and land conflicts involving aboriginals can also be seen at the venue.