thumbnail of Vis A Vis: Native Tongues
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
or a hanging maintains from opposite corners of the globe to provocative indigenous artists need to show their work and that's nineteen fourteen years are determined to challenge stereotypes that made people i wasn't born in keeping your new tv coming up james noonan i mean glee laugh or link up and get down there the major towns the following program is made possible by a major support from the corporation for public broadcasting and the australian film finance corporation an espy as independent with additional support from missouri's documentary fund and the rockefeller foundation named layla offered an
aboriginal playwright grew up in an isolated community in the western australian bush she works primarily in the collaborative world of theater plays she lives in melbourne a few hundred miles and american indian performances malaysian artist works mostly solo so he grew up in a rural suburb of los angeles but for the past twenty five years i've lived in his tribe's reservation in the mountains northeast of san diego he has legally and james and storytelling to confront the stereotypes and it's about native people in their country's divisions but their approach isn't very different or their common ground and their
differences james an inkling that for the first time for a series of digital video links over four days they learned about each other's lives and art for each it was also a chance to examine the challenges they face navigating between the mainstream world and the tribal cultures we're alive a day ally maggie man and a man band and they live a day this is oh hello hi days they don't look pretty good at last dime yet on this tire there you are nineteen hours away half way around the world are not being very tempted to get on to that the internet and i look at the us with what might you know i have to confess i i i don't know a lot about australian amanda so vast mostly cities around that you saw him on the coast right you know and i live in melbourne that i'm originally from wi <unk>
ok is a pretty remote very remote rugged area there right well you know there's very different ok so hard and there's a sense that i hear when i was a first is like my melbourne stomach a great rising straight very hard to predict in egypt is more of a trendy area thanks to hang out there and yet turning up at my house this is the time i have to say that until that violinists have a goal of what's right is
right all the time you know my husband's a musician yeah guys that hasn't leagues in and we decided to go along where the kids go along with it as well i love it thank
you thank you errol is the door not look there's dead satellites against peace when that's easy i'm actually a little bit of something you're our little bit of landscape and down my morning routine well i live in southern california this is where my people came from this is where we've been since creation of about eight thousand and eight and there's about six hundred of us workers right out we live in the mountains a live about twenty five hundred feet in the air your work in my yard enjoy the season i live alone i have a son i was the mary celeste why isn't a community here on the reservation and have a friends here these
are very end in these days we call that a bad hair day i had a few of them one of them they give gifts that we received as quote a conquered people is the diseases that are hereditary that that come from bad diet which are is based on sort of bad economics and i'm a diabetic and has a number of needy people here in the united states and have that disease is also a big problem here is jay among the an average of people here work there but you know i think as you said it comes down to die and you didn't see my dad all that it is there well here i am going to work because in addition to the artist i work at a college where i am a counselor but as i tell people this job pays for my art happen students are little art by artist because it's not your
typical counsel's office just because of our prize possession this is the gi joe talking navajo doll the navajo people during forward to her level soldiers would report authors and the japanese could break the code in the recently received commercial medals of honor he's identified a r a in it in a weird like your people and my people have flocked in the wire and i but the guys dragging away that day and these people fight here and yet not recognize and it took him so long for people to recognize that they would've gotten this he strayed there's so much irony about our cultures within the bigger culture exact way i grew up on a cattle station like the ranch with my father was like a ranch enters the political maturity and my mound it was a dumb mistake and seeing the bare house where
four the white station owners and that's the irony well i knew when i was growing up and i went away to school to play dr all this stuff and it is drying out we weren't given our citizens sips bribes by until nineteen sixty seven while and it you know much about beyond the average just it straight pride to eight the referendum that's like what they support the assimilation plus a way they stayed at that deal and a wife back why not so you know what i used to
go home to my family and they used to talk about it all the time and i used to always do that myself like talk about the situation of the people until i jumped up that its ads that or doing something about it and you know i started out as a dancer it has been an fbi this is an idea calling only i rise to lead and everybody a mind my grandmother was my knees well
no and the winner so you offered the pope oh well i may have a set of my country when i am i do that i didn't and the bob wise i'm a runner
you know oh oh our guest is a minute and it didn't and mould thank you i am as yet they ended it as that as well as its like how did you get into it for me i was in or do we know installation work and as i became better at installations they started to call for different things and so i became part of my escalation
again jimmy williams and despite that very act why would make these loud statement about us as living people not as something from the past there was a form of art that i can express all of those things that i had not been able to do in the page and there came to a place in the war we've called for something alive that i created this one can't recall the shaman and the shame then the shames people had a performance of their shame about the ethnicity i am you know the
euro's tomorrow is as powerful as a service because shane is it is it is it is you know it is it is well is it is the day so this is a unique now this is
fantastic is being my first performances and insulation were very biting were very biting you know there were there were really an in your face and that was good though but as as i progress of the work i found that if i really wanted people to listen it didn't necessarily have to be sold by the exact i know that it doesn't work and then and then they're like invite them as well crowley another good person that came out to be said in a linens you're a clown been invited in culture a clown is a very significant role when people tend to think of it in order to
you know some things that we don't deal with the reality of we are today i wasn't born in a teepee and i was born in a tv and my work speaks to that kind of stuff and you're appearing with the raspberry and what is the reason they are the raspberries a local law a band based on my reservation was listen to one and i thought you know this would be great to have in common those back chris van dyke it became a vastly dad well i created this character because the indians are supposed to be storytellers right so i created this character called james luna the burned out classic rock storyteller i
mean add just as an art supplies business dylan outside at our own country and you still trying to find your flag even though you know it's your country to me this guy is there was white society and we don't feed into that category year's what ms drysdale have to recognize is that there is a diversity i do it shyly that have a friend of mine is that i read the maze comedian is that is hardly we write a sad to get out all right bbc i want mike tries to make any
impact internationally bad as any time in thirty years all of enjoy the time about wanting to walk away we need supplies well you have you know why you guys it was then tina inside the crime dr ely well the register may think he'll be for we don't have to go any place for them here and here to tell our stories
and i think it is in a thankyou very lives and said yes i will leaving out i you know i get ready to pack giveaway kids' stuff together and i'm a travel away from melbourne back to my country to kimberly's bigger woody am a family station and take it home to my mom okay aereo is doing it it's buying years it's pretty close to it
yeah that's right but driving to be a long long day tonight scotty
there is a staging area rather the basics of it and say the pianist is like i used to say that you know what it is it is that the us is now that that's a national service no other choice eight games this is the seats or about spain
much much older than my sisters and others who apply not ms reichl that was it and then in canada you will i was feasible let me get gases mainly least local and it is really you know i'm very lucky that i still have that knowledge to be and pass on to my children very lucky there are people keep as a priority for our young generation because if it's get glossy it does give lessons and i like to think that we're survivors that's the reason that we're here today because we learned to adapt side say oh wow that's beautiful paris this is my bad carrot worth is my mom my hand i loved my mom and that quite frankly is that
israel wants to build a cowboy with the cowboy poetry it looks like an old indian troubling to me some of my mom's name as adelaide like austria it is nice to be a good day of the other day i had come to visit my mother and i was like coming home when i grew up in this particular part of the city was it was farmland and we lived in little neighborhood and we had an outhouse with a woodstove we had a garden and so it sure looks like what are your issues to look like what was really nice is having all my aunts and uncles around us like any grandparents live next door and one mexican grandparents lived on the industry
but others in mexico you know and i'm sorry i i i haven't but i don't speak spanish was a day that she was really nice this is my eighth grade graduation and that's me and my bills do that with my grandma and my mom to mom was jack in assets and i was one of the bill's truth this is my graduation from uc irvine and seventy six antiwar my manager and when he went to a cia that's when he became the eighth you're wondering about our culture in fact i know it's pride one of the reasons i went was because i got to go to things and i got to know things cuomo malloy is a room and you know my dad was a little different because he had different ideas he wanted
wallace what's up so to speak you know the labor predicts at that and i said it in the anonymity that i haven't done in terms of was i just thought that's i was hi scott i had my apartment and i think it has been i knew
and things like that i still think there's enough time to really get to know that animal that sense of her i guess what really confounding more as we start looking at her work the next chapter in this talk about something that may be painful it's b he's busy don't waste it states are you doing there are
good thank him so where you know i like the alan that's we get these handy down from the government all the time and i think he was in the fifties they gave a whole bunch of these once it hurts and this actually used to be a tribal hall for a while and then we had another one built but damn it i don't think it's so beautiful here i hope never to loosen appreciation for you know being here and i think this is where we're from the environment is our power exactly why you know what this is really good because this is our day our day that we can you know to little freer and really share some stuff with that in mind i thought i would take you to one of our sacred places safer and there's what they call a tiny holes where these brine acorns but also in terms of the scene i work as a there was a major leagues here in this area have major groups of people living in the non
trans within the grimy the right minerals the mccotter oxley are enough places like this were the permanent are some right here and there's some like major leagues here i imagine how the women sitting here talking about you whenever they talk about him virtual tobacco and saves as a large region of icy rocks at that whenever i go in with special than seven a citizen i have a lot of other clips that i wanna show you so feel free to you know show years i guess i wish i you know that the people and stuff will get that the average human history in his trial
el sayyid the bad stuff and all that stuff that has happened to my people by isaac i'll call it allies see a singing i visited matt and i know right in the country i mean the place has been laid for a response on red by the spirits in that six units potential invaders into the seventeenth century it wasn't until just over a hundred years ago that the english came the idea they used to be somewhere between ten and thirty thousand indigenous people sustained other region of the convention here the occupation
abysmal this was built on slavery of the guinness people including social buttons those tens of thousands of pounds doing to made from those and on the conversation and the sheep station same thing to people with fifty different languages across the kingly intermission compounds with their languages culture and the religion were systematically attack and in some cases completely destroyed of course this is well intentioned i think this is what the proponents of my way yeah like a good idea because of it and good evil is bye bye in his position as a pie is the disposition of all the people and not having a voice at regional people worked in the pasture in history for so long this was like a slap majority of disappointed like that because now that region was
basically for very little wiser when they did bring in the award in nineteen sixty seven a lot of them actually now garland learning about dispelling generation and then the socal and rickman as the fat regional phase we have hear an astronomer say this report that does it in tampa saint that but we're moved by my grandmother's case for children were remote and they were taken away from
his name more than anything else is the fact that my grandmother was indian feet to be a mother because she was indigenous in the states there was something similar it was around education or institutional education and editor of the century while they said well this is their thinking well you know you're in utero is the indians' until we educate you and then you know we teach you the final thing the western culture then you'll be ok so they didn't take away our land but they divided it so that we would be landowners not a tribe they took their children away and put him in schools as far as they could or less what they did to our like i'm a father you know as it was an education but they done to me domestic people trained ears exactly good with their
hands why couldn't they get into university why couldn't they take him to me something i learned in iowa well it's going to be a brain surgeon he's we had i had these images that he did and they were taken by the government to better the century showing how successful born in schools where as a pitcher he's indigenous just before they get on the train to go east and they're looking very defiant when they're there they're not happy but they're they're very promising native and then they took some pictures of them one year later and those pictures are actually our heart wrenching for me the same kids and they were shown with the idea that look this is how successful we could be what's so i took some pictures and haven't juxtapose in this gallery about my
experiences to withdraw a little better and so i call those other school pictures before boarding school after boarding school and then i showed this picture before college and then after college at the time that i went to school it was like a kosher awakening is still happens for a lot of our young kids to go to school in a lot of the native i did not say when you went to college and as a new beginning in the same thing as i explained what i certainly like sixties there was remade we received national attention for taking over the island alcatraz prison sentences for race
news article or reviews to go over the bathroom slaughter it was a march to washington i was going to school at the time watching this is in some ways i was a part of this he started to think more about what was happening just a picture of a country that was always there and avalon think that i had insurance i think it didn't know that stewart says officer i grew up in a minority i gave us buy any english it was about living is all
and my parents went through so much racism and they protected that's all i didn't say it was growing up until i went to the city's i didn't say to my community well i think when you're in a small community and we're in a very old multiracial community you to school you are and then later on when or our community grew all of a sudden we're a minority we're the same but we were looked at different i remember are the bus picking this up the first day of school and was as girl i had met during the summer and i got on the bus and i sat by her and she goes oh you live here because she was putting me in that little box that stereotype exactly did this up performance fees call take a picture with a real endgame where i speak to are stereotypes it's an installation piece and a performance piece and on opening night
fifth major carrier you get to take one home ross when you tell people that you're an indian here they may have all kinds of different ideas because of those movies and because of of history how they talked about or fast they never talk about our present for a large part of my work has to do with that means boxing trials but hhs host every single bean says that's what i like about the way that this bill is here in the states it's
popular to be ethnic and popkin indians is a very popular thing to be part of you know they don't think about all the pain and the bullshit the misery and all the things what it means to be an indian in society i heard that share was it mean what does that what does that mean exactly what does that mean that's what i i i say to people like what you say is like what does it mean to be an indian indian all an average a person why a dial yeah and he you know
oh yeah solitary is that when we say get me it in in my language and he'd carried so many generations on his shoulders but also he carried the pride and the culture when i left about a high school he said to me you know you can go wherever you want any language is it we money and will go wrong when a name and then you know on the bubble or no no really you know do due you know
what i went every new name ever lose your language because if you lose your language you lose your songs your stories and your culture and if you do that you're just be another face in the crowd yes very smart man and he has been always like the foundation of everything it now in our culture we we grew up without grandparents and i went are sending very influential in all of our upbringing what is it our dogs
okay good night good morning well and levitating to get guns and you can just come in from santa fe new mexico and i wanted to make a point in the war we're gonna lessons listening to do you know having a few province on the lawyer reservation riley rely a good tune we live and we live right
now well that letter reston gonna charge the ready for a girl and i saw your tape today there were great and thank you know i saw you say we really were very similar and then at the same time different and i went public about the lessons about that as well yeah yeah me too so we're pinned of a girl as big a few minutes to get that made rock n roll here i am they have a question for you act do you ever feel this that were alone out there in the art world because there are few people doing what we do and as it necessity for life personally i see myself as an actor moon and then i see myself as indigenous europe and i'm not do a show that i don't have to
be stereotyped as a hazard as a drug that regional war and activists are in it some seventy people in person with some we had wobbled is the same and i guess one of the outlying away our doctor or somebody you know i would say so many us something you know and god damn it you know what i really like is worse a credit to look at my work and say you know that was a great artistic decision we don't get that it's about the history of the court and that's fine but as an artist i do i do miss that joe say someone was writing a play and asked you to be an actor in the play would you do it i know i've tried it's pretty hard because i have worked with the director before they said do this and i said that i do it i'm a solo artist interviews to doing things the way a few months it's built as far as brilliant performance um i think as an
artist because i have a venue to express myself and it saved my life and something you know tell me of them with anger and frustration that that i've that i may have taken upon myself and so it's been good and so that when i talk about these issues if verrilli for me to talk to a crowd more so than it is to talk to someone an intimate situation and for my guts up its classy stuff is really hard work and not looking at you put yourself out there you know very very confined in your in getting their faces i think i can do that and i do it in a different way wow what you
doing in the theater is what i am dreaming of doing as a performance artist what i would like to do in the next few years is to sit back and write and direct and have a you know a true i'm looking at some real inspiration in my writing i'll let you in on a little secret when i write these things i write them for native people in mind grounds made yet and he makes be clear about who i'm talking to i really like it pays apple jimmy and when you say that is right for native people i can see where you're coming from waldo a wall and he got his newly he had the big d you know like so many of us so many of us and they took him to a hospital with his fingers
you know that's life goes on and they brought him back and writer whose idea was it that he was in that tiny car and they happen to drive in the back of a store and paula and all the boys are there in the truck at middle aged of blowing you went by the north carolina law thank you i'd start getting into writing more stuff by myself now i'm writing from a different perspective is a listener writes and stuff with my mom and just tell me things and write a play about the white station owners of the land of visitors turned up in amman is very proud of what she was doing and when i was a child i wanted to be just like if i want to work in the big house as she put it i remember one of my answer was a housekeeper of robin and i was sort of like a
companion for one of the white boys that live in this house and we played and we were cool you know but i guess taken out of that context as men we would have different roles i would have to write that down i think there's a material there was take a break and go outside in shift gears apple has got to be an assassin you can meet my brow okay i would like you know i went into to my ear the one man in my life what a crew cut there is as necessary or so they made it as a betty sue diaz oh there's a residual on a joint a bit further west than later i go yeah i'm doing ten how y'all it is actually a famous in the aisle his director museum of
american indian arts oh well he's been modest half years your brother when you think about what she does want to honor one of the five teams to find when you're in an ap he could be the marlboro man i'm a rollin of this last piece you know the show i was showing in the disadvantaged that didn't get taken away by the mission system you know this is the path we're on is about to give up my daughter in the play to my oldest daughter is to make sure that the families they see is and this is how does one particular family survived and i he's been
it's burned it's bleak to pay the past week has you're there in that the hallway says it all for me as an artist
the strong piece of natural pace that shy they are a full on that like well you know that golf at hand his arm as you said before we asked survivors you know they can from everything and anything away you fall as being are colonized by white people finally eases unit and we weren't even than two hundred years ago when they can bring any terms of any kind is tough in them are still with us we're still people of the land went out they're very proud people not eyes is a you know they can take to get a country that they can't take the country and to do that they're going on you know what you know over the last few days talking with you you know i just felt like the world was so big you know yeah and that's a father's
sister know in a family yet and you're welcome here anytime at a welcome here anytime you wanted a list that i think you guys that i really enjoyed meeting you in and and your family thank you very much for showing me yes that and yacht they do for a living coming to your tv that meeting a fairly and although season like we say here are our paths will cross again it well now lies is nice knowing about what not to buy now it's not that bad the prisoners david was a normal union people
say don't sit in the passenger side because you know i'd open the god damn day around here people die in threes i went through people die they say we mostly closer it the heavy native tongues is made possible by a major support from the corporation for public broadcasting the australian film finance corporation and sps independent with additional support from the sorrows documentary fund and the rockefeller foundation
oh yeah
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Vis A Vis: Native Tongues
Contributing Organization
Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/508-mw28912k28).
Program Description
Indigenous performing artists James Luna (Luiseno) and Ningali Lawford (Walmajarri) compare perspectives on life and society, using dialogue via satellite, scenes of their performances, and video diaries to inform the conversation.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Performing Arts
Social Issues
Global Affairs
Race and Ethnicity
Copyright 2003 Yerosha Productions, Inc.
Media type
Moving Image
Director: Torrens, Nick
Director: Larence, Steve
Director: Lucas, Phil
Performer: Luna, James
Performer: Lawford, Ningali
Producer: Torrens, Nick
Producer: Larence, Steve
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00698 (VMM Inventory #)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:56:46
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Vis A Vis: Native Tongues,” 2003-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 2, 2024,
MLA: “Vis A Vis: Native Tongues.” 2003-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 2, 2024. <>.
APA: Vis A Vis: Native Tongues. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from