Australia’s national anthem has been reinvented by this Aboriginal rapper


Have you ever written a song while playing table tennis? Probably not. But that’s exactly what a group of Tasmanian kids and Tasmanian Aboriginal (pakana) rapper DENNI want you to do.
“Anthem Anthem Revolution” is an art installation that was launched this week at the 2022 Birmingham Festival in the UK. The festival showcases world art and culture alongside the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, which begin on July 28.
Sam Routledge is the artistic director of the Hobart-based Terrapin Puppet Theatre, the organization behind ‘Anthem Anthem Revolution’.

“Anthem Anthem Revolution is a crowd-sourced installation that gives people the chance to battle a table tennis robot to replace Australia’s national anthem with a new national anthem,” he said.

Players will have to fight a table tennis robot in order to write a new Australian anthem Source: Provided / Terrapin Puppet Theater

Terrapin had the opportunity to pitch an idea at the 2022 Birmingham Festival. This idea was to be based on a Commonwealth Games sport.

“Table tennis is a very rhythmic game, it’s backstroke, backstroke…and it creates its own rhythm,” Routledge said.
“When you think of a major sporting event like the Commonwealth Games, the national anthem is something that unifies and brings people together.

“We wanted to take a look at our anthem, but also see who is writing this anthem, and what hopes and dreams does the existing anthem represent, and what hopes and dreams might a new anthem represent?”

A man smiling at the camera.  He wears a collared shirt and a black sweater

Sam Routledge is the Artistic Director of Terrapin Puppet Theatre. He came up with the idea for “Anthem Anthem Revolution” after realizing that the game of table tennis had a rhythmic pattern. Source: SBS News / Sarah Maunder

As participants play the game, they will simultaneously create a new anthem: with each hit or bounce, they will hear a child’s voice or musical sound. The more success the player has, the more voices and sounds they will hear, which will create their own unique anthem.

If a player does very well, they will be able to complete a bonus round, which will unlock a full recording of the anthem DENNI wrote with a group of Tasmanian children.
Here are the full lyrics:

Verse 1

Anthem Anthem, it’s a revolution

Stop division and start inclusion

Solve the problems, find the solution

To change the climate and cause pollution

Working together to stop the confusion

It’s Anthem Anthem, it’s a revolution

Chorus

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

And humans our nature

Now we move as one

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

we are we are

Verse 2

This land has an indigenous heart

multicolored australia

Through the scars of history

Youth is our voice

Still need to be heard

In the ear of all allies

It’s the power of words

They resonate through time

With the lessons we learn

Always building a future

And we get to work

Chorus

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

And humans our nature

Now we move as one

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

we are we are

Verse 3

Acceptance is the key

These hands are mine

Like the branches of a tree

Together we grow

Our past can go

A bad taste on the tongue

We are always moving forward

With a rainbow thumb

A protesting foot

Stomp hard on the ground

Don’t forget to recognize

Chorus (x2)

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

And humans our nature

Now we move as one

Our bodies the earth

The waters of our blood

we are we are

Denni Proctor – professionally known as DENNI – is a Pakana rapper/hip-hop artist based in her home state of lutruwita/Tasmania. It took her and the group of Tasmanian children about a year of workshops to arrive at the final anthem.
“A few themes (during the writing process) came up in the room, about identity, place and culture, and we landed on Australia as a body, and our body as country,” she said.
milaythina means Country in palawa kani, one of the aboriginal languages ​​of Tasmania.

“Working with these young people, it was very evident that they take in their environment – ​​and what is happening in the world – and think about it critically.

A man and a woman sitting at a table indoors

Deni and Sam Source: SBS News / Sarah Maunder

“It was really exciting to be in the room with these young people, to hear their ideas, to hear what is important to them and to hear what they wanted to say, and so I kind of packed that in a packet with rhymes. and rap.

Ms Proctor traveled to the UK this week to help launch the ‘Anthem Anthem Revolution’ installation.

“It’s so exciting to have work from Australia, not to mention Tassie, overseas represented, it’s a sense of pride, and I hope the audience there can get as much out of it. that we have as a community and the workers in the arts bringing it all together.

A few themes came up in the room about identity, place and culture, and we landed on Australia as a body, and our body as a country.

Dennis Proctor

Pakana siblings Isabella Triffitt and Declan Triffitt-Haney were among the group of children who helped create the anthem. Isabella, 12, said it was important the anthem respected Tasmanian Aboriginal culture.
“I wanted it to be welcoming to everyone, all colors, all genders, just like that,” she said.

“I wanted to pay tribute to the traditional owners of this land, the indigenous peoples.

Her brother, Declan, 13, said the anthem was an opportunity for truth.

“I think it’s best to acknowledge that the Aborigines were the first people on the earth, and to acknowledge what the English invaders did to them, and the war crimes they committed, because that’s was a war,” he said.

A teenager wearing a denim jacket and sitting on a chair

Declan Triffitt-Haney, 13, says an important theme of “Anthem Anthem Revolution” is truth. Source: SBS News / Sarah Maunder

At this time, Anthem Anthem Revolution is just an interactive art installation, there are no plans to replace Advance Australia Fair with it, or any other song. But one day, if Australia were looking for a new national anthem, Ms Proctor would propose Anthem Anthem Revolution for consideration.

“I will always raise my hand to challenge old ideas,” she said.
“And I guess, to put my hat in the ring, to be a strong advocate for Indigenous peoples in Tasmania and First Nations peoples around the world, and how essential and important the information and knowledge that we hold is, and how important they are. is going to be in the future as we hope to start thinking about Country again, where we stand on Country, and how we can reverse some of the things we did to Country.

“Anthem Anthem Revolution” will be on display for another week, before hitting the Queen Elizabeth Live Site in London for a week. The facility will be accessible to the public for up to eight hours a day.

A teenage girl sitting and facing the camera

Isabella Triffitt, 12, wanted the anthem to reflect Australia’s diverse cultures and pay tribute to Aboriginal people. Source: SBS News / Sarah Maunder

“It’s weird that something I’ve written is in the UK, and being seen by people I’ll probably never meet is kind of weird,” Declan said.

Ms Proctor said she was proud to be in the UK promoting ‘Anthem Anthem Revolution’.

“I think an anthem should always challenge us to go, well, what do we stand for as a country, and where do we want to go or move forward together?” she says.

“It’s so exciting to have work from Australia, not to mention Tassie, overseas represented, it’s a sense of pride, and I hope the audience there can get as much out of it. that we have as a community and the arts workers bringing it all together.
palawa kani only uses lowercase letters.
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