Trespass 9:16 (a vertical film)

Director: John Hughes
Year: 2015
Duration: 12 Minutes

In 2015 the Adelaide Film Festival’s curator Chris Luscri invited me to make a ‘Vertical film’ for the Festival’s ‘9:16’ project; Trespass screened in Adelaide, October 2015. You can see it here in a pillar-box, or here high resolution (sideways).

Over recent years the West Australian government has removed and blocked more than 1,000 Dreaming sites from its Heritage lists, rock art of the Burrup Peninsula among them; meanwhile the Aboriginal Heritage Action Alliance, Green politicians and archaeologists are organising against government plans to further dispossess Aboriginal people.West Australia’s Pilbara region has one of the most significant rock art galleries in the world, with human culture’s earliest representation of the human face, and engravings tens of thousands of years old. These are endangered for the benefit of ‘development’. At risk is the heritage of another way of understanding both ‘landscape’ and ‘portrait’, country and identity. Over the last few years the government of West Australia developed mechanisms to deregister Aboriginal dreaming sites previously acknowledged with Heritage listings, with the full co- operation of its Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and for the benefit of industrial development and mining. Over 1200 sites have been denied recognition, and dozens have been delisted, each with development applications pending. In April 2015 the WA Supreme Court found the government’s changes contradicted it’s own Aboriginal Heritage Act, and now the government seeks to amend the Act to further distance Indigenous consultation. Industrial development should never have been allowed in the Burrup Peninsula where over 10,000 rock art carvings have already been destroyed. Since the transition from pastoral occupation of Aboriginal land to mining and heavy industry in the 1970s, all across the country many thousands of Aboriginal sites have been destroyed.