Silent Memories Linger

By Tamilla, Stage 5

Written as part of Art Write Light 2021

Art Write Light 2021 is a  creative writing project curated by Story Factory, in collaboration with visual artist Blak Douglas. During the program, students from Bonnyrigg High School and St Clair High School were introduced to the work of Blak Douglas, and created written and audio pieces responding to his artwork. The audio you’re about to listen to features a young writer from the program reading an extract from their work.




Silent Memories Linger 

The rustling cuts through the overwhelming silence. Memories of our ancestors still linger. The non-native animals roam the land, changing the way it was. 


“Get on your knees, you filthy abo.”

I was forced down towards the hard concrete floor, my knees scraping and my people screaming. 

“Always was, always will be Aboriginal land!”

The loud chants push on, no matter how much you threaten us with your arms and anthems.

I’m constantly reminded of the school assemblies, where the collective of voices sang out the white man’s anthem in pride. My friend naively sang along while I stood beside her in disgust. Being in that room standing with those hollow people singing, disregarded our history. Being there reminded me of English Marches, feeling isolated.

“Stand with us and sing or don’t sing at all!”

Pressured into silence, just like my ancestors at Yabun. We were all practically stronger and even though we never met, it was like we were family.

The English Marches were cold, unforgiving, superior. The Yabun March was welcoming, empowering. By walking alongside them, it was showing that this was our people’s land and always will be.


Much is Rife, Blak Douglas, 2021

Art Write Light is generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation.

Program sponsor logo