You could have heard a pin drop last night on Q & A when Aboriginal activist and former actor Rosalie Kunoth-Monks addressed questions about John Pilger’s film Utopia.
Kunoth-Monks, who lives on the Utopia homelands, 260km north-east of Alice Springs, defended the film which screened recently on SBS.
Her comments contrasted those of writer and former politician Peter Coleman who criticised the documentary.
But when Kunoth-Monks spoke it was compelling television:
You know, I have a culture. I am a cultured person. (Speaking Arrernte) I’m talking another language. And my language is alive. I am not something that fell out of the sky for the pleasure of somebody putting another culture into this cultured being. John shows what is an ongoing denial of me. I am not an Aboriginal or, indeed, Indigenous. I am Arrernte, Alyawarre, First Nations person, a sovereign person from this country. (Speaking Arrernte) This is the country I came out from. I didn’t come from overseas. I came from here. My language, in spite of whiteness trying to penetrate into my brain by assimilationists – I am alive, I am here and now – and I speak my language. I practise my cultural essence of me. Don’t try and suppress me and don’t call me a problem. I am not the problem. I have never left my country nor have I ceded any part of it. Nobody has entered into a treaty or talked to me about who I am. I am Arrernte Alyawarre female elder from this country. Please remember that. I am not the problem.
Following her moving words, Twitter lit up with praise.
What a wondrous woman Rosalie Kunoth-Monks is. That was the most chilling thing I have seen or heard on #qanda
— Simon Segal (@simonsegal) June 9, 2014
— Vanessa Condemi (@vanessaellcee) June 10, 2014
If you missed last night’s @QandA with the Elders I recommend you watch it! Jane Goodall and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks were simply extraordinary!
— Climate Girl (@climate_girl) June 9, 2014
— Reezy Miller (@Trixie_Boo) June 9, 2014
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks words on racist Australia & Intervention should be heard by all #qanda
— Wendy Bacon (@Wendy_Bacon) June 9, 2014
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks has come such a long way from her original “Jedda” days. A great Utopian role model #qanda
— Anita Jacoby (@Anita_Jacoby) June 9, 2014
#qanda I think Rosalie has cut through the television screen with her passionate cry of humanity. How rare to hear speaking from the heart.
— la Marquise d’Wilcox (@cathywilcox1) June 9, 2014
Peter Coleman may be an elder, but that’s all he has in common with the other members of this #QandA panel.
— Lord Steve of Thom (@stevethompson49) June 9, 2014
After this attention, it could be worth SBS replaying Utopia during their World Cup season.
This post will update will full transcript from ABC later today.