Aboriginal rap dancers showcase Australian culture

By Belinda Merhab from PROJECTeye

There needs to be a focus on Aboriginal culture all the time, not just when tourists come to Australia, say Aboriginal rap duo, Street Warriors.


Performing at the Darling Harbour International Media Centre (IMC) today, the Newcastle-based brothers, Abie and Wok Wright along with Indigenous singer Jane Walker, were asked by Tourism Australia to showcase Australian culture.

Tourism Australia and Tourism NSW are co-hosting a booth at the WYD08 IMC for the “World Youth Day” week, inviting media to various staged events to provide “colour stories” with a focus on a different Australian 'experience' each day.

“There should be a large focus on it [Aboriginal culture] all the time, not just when other people come over from other countries and ask us 'oh we're in Australia, what do you do culturally?” says Wok Wright.

“Instead of just sort of pulling out their digderidoos and artworks then, I think it'd be good if the whole country embraced our culture, I guess something similar to the way New Zealand people do…it'd be good to see more people embracing our culture, it's the oldest culture in the world.”

The brothers performed one of their older songs, 'Black Fellas' and a song from their new album 'Real Knows Real', before their performance was cut short by technical difficulties. Wok also teamed up with Walker, to perform her song 'Ancient Land'.

Working with young people through hip hop workshops that they hold around the country, the brothers use feedback from the students to create their music.

“Youth is our target audience …so anything we do has come from feedback from young people. That's the audience we're trying to capture,” says Wok,

“Our performance is a reflection of young indigenous people, hip hop is a tool that a lot of young people are using these days, especially indigenous youth,” says Abie.

The Street Warriors believe that their workshops are helping give young people a voice. Using the U.S. As an example, Abie says that rap is a great avenue for minority youth groups to express their feelings.

“It empowers young black youth and as a minority in our own country, it's a good avenue for our kids to get our messages out,” says Abie.

ProjectEye is a content partner for SBS providing critical news coverage of WYD08 from a youth perspective.