About a year ago I received a message from a group of young men from a remote homeland in Arnhem Land. They wanted me create a new show with them, just like Bush Mechanics, which I made 14 years ago. They seemed super keen, so I flew up and met them. Their idea was to show the outside world this amazing bush life of hunting and living off the land, stories of survival, adventure, cars and near disasters.
Jerome, Chico and Dino are Yolngu men who live and grew up in Yathlamara, a homeland near the community of Ramingining in East Arnhem Land. Joe moved to Ramingining as a child and grew up with the others. He was adopted by a local family and is considered part of the community. All four men have gone through Aboriginal customary law and live by all cultural and societal codes expected of them as initiated men.
These guys grew up with “Bush Mechanics”. Now with mobile phones, TV, music and the Internet, a new generation has emerged and the time is right to celebrate life in the bush all over again…but in today’s world. It is neither straight doco, scripted drama or reality. It is a genre of its own. And importantly, The Black As boys are partners in this project
Mobile auto repairs, Black As type…EASY!
Each webisode will continue “the journey”, discovering the wonders and secret spots in and around Ramingining, the Arafura Swamp and its wild and inhospitable coastline and rivers. The boys will use all their bush skills to keep cars going, build with bush materials and find innovative solutions to curly predicaments. They’ll travel in broken cars, dinghies, and when all engines fail…take to the foot.. They’ll live off the land with nothing, survive islands infested with crocs and have mystical interventions from greater powers.
Snacks on the go… Mangrove worms.
I love the dynamic created by the Yolngu/white crew. It’s refreshing and honest and leads to fascinating insights into both cultures. Joe is still the “white guy” and the others play on this and tease Joe continually. Joe in turn is often the motivator who keeps them on track and organized. Their combined bush skills and know how are something to behold. Their respect for the elders and landowners is ever present. All four are strongly immersed in traditional cultural life, family and its obligations.
The series will be a positive celebration of young people living in a remote Aboriginal community. It will embrace life in the bush and all it has on offer.
One slip and you’re croc bait!
WHY “Black AS”
Living in Remote Aboriginal communities is often about a sedentary lifestyle and its associated diseases. With Black As we’ll create a new show, which celebrates Aboriginal youth culture, bush foods, and a hunter/gatherer tradition.
The Black As boys are keen to pursue this project, especially since it was their idea in the first place. They traverse both white man’s world and their own with ease but hold their culture, traditions, ceremonies, country and language as their priority.
Black As will not only give these few young men a focus and direction in life but allow them to show others that contrary to recent bad press and negative television programs life in the bush can be fun, healthy and something to celebrate.
The project has everyone pretty excited and keen to go into production during the dry season this year.
So all we need now is some dolla!
Guess why he’s on the roof?
Be part of the buzz. Help make it happen.
Contribute what you can and spread the word about BLACK AS.
Here’s lunch… Let’s get started on dinner!