Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Kimberley

When you are in the Kimberley in north west Australia, you know you are on aboriginal land. The ancient landscape puts in you in your place. It's a humbling experience.

After nearly 3 weeks of sleeping under the night sky, the tensions and stresses of our strange urban existance all seem to dissolve into nothingness. What was the point of that meeting again? And what about that new electronic gadget I was thinking of getting? Oh look, a billion stars stretching into eternity. And under my feet, a landscape that has sustained a rich civilisation for over 40, 000 years.

The experience is one of humility yet also one of potency. In less than a hundred years, a heady mix of colonisation, technology and ideology all but obliterated one of the oldest living civilisations on earth. And a bauxite mine, if approved on the Mitchell Plateau could reduce a unique and diverse ecosystem to little more than monoculture in the blink of an eye. And yet the landscape engulfs you. The birds laugh at you and the Goanna's ignore you, as your own self importance slowly blows away to swirl and settle in the red soil. More photos