Call for First Nation/Indigenous/Aboriginal artists with disabilities for Unfinished Business

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From UnfinishedBusiness.net.au, this is a call for First Nation/Indigenous/Aboriginal artists with disabilities from around the world to contribute to an artistic project called Unfinished Business.

Before looking on their website, please note that you may come across images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are deceased.

Check out more than 30 captioned short documentaries they’ve created on the Unfinished Business YouTube Channel.

Their website contains links to the documentary films, a series of beautiful photographs, and some amazing accessibility options. Accessibility includes an audio book version, audio description of the images, and QR codes for folks in Australia to use the OpenMi Tours app to get information in audio only, audio with captions, Australian Sign Language, Audio Description, or foreign languages.

From their website: “I would like to show my respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which the project was conceived and realised, and to acknowledge their Elders, past and present. The Unfinished Business project would not exist without the guidance and cultural knowledge of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have contributed to it.
Unfinished Business reveals the stories of 30 people with disability from Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Through their involvement in the project each participant draws much-needed attention to critical issues that impact on their lives. Each participant’s story is complex and intertwined with Australia’s political and social history, which has resulted in today’s high rates of disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.
The work was displayed in 2013 to coincide with the 24th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a body within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The project was supported by the First Peoples Disability Network and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through the Australian Mission in Geneva.  Unfinished Business was a part of Australia’s official contribution to the United Nations 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Persons. This was supported by the Australian Government through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”

FYI, the United States has not passed this international treaty, the CRPD. We are not part of an global body of 152 nations that meets every two years. The treaty’s mission? In a nutshell, it’s “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” Inherent dignity. We have not passed this treaty yet. I feel like this artistic and documentary project is invaluable in addressing racial, ethnic, economic, and disability justice together. They are so deeply entwined. This project is examining many factors, such as environmental racism and continuing results of colonization. It’s not all unique to Australia. Check out the U.S. made documentary “Crying Earth Rise Up.”  I urge you to watch, listen, and read. Here, the trailer for the project:

And if you are a First Nation/Indigenous/Aboriginal artist with disabilities, you may submit an Expression of Interest to have your artwork in the exhibition in the United Nations in New York from December 2015. Please fill out the online form or email them at submit@unfinishedbusiness.net.au . Share the links to view the material, and please share the call for submissions to others so that this project blossoms to have worldwide documentation. Who knows? Perhaps powerful art such as this could convince the U.S. to ratify that treaty. You know, the one about acknowledging the need to protect and ensure human rights to people with disabilities. (If we actually had that, the treaty wouldn’t have been written in 2006.)