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'n April 2011 the Australian edition of Rolling Stone featured a cover photo of Yolngu multi-instrumentalist and singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. The headline ‘Australia’s most important voice’ crawls along the sleeve of Gurrumul’s pinstriped suit, while the band names The National and Primal Scream hover above his shoulder. In the midst of so much noise, the portrait by Sydney photographer Adrian Cook embodies a still silence. Across Gurrumul’s torso lies the body of his guitar, held by lithe-fingered hands. Both gesture and posture suggest reserve and quiet: a stark juxtaposition with the idea of a ‘national primal scream’ that adjacent cover lines scramble to invent.' (Author's introduction)
'Thomas Keneally’s novel The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972) is based in part on historical events, particularly the crimes committed by Jimmy Governor, an Aboriginal man from New South Wales. In 1900, Governor was a key figure involved in the killing of nine Europeans, including five women and children. The killings followed Governor’s marriage to a young white woman and taunts from the Mawbey household where they both worked. After fourteen weeks on the run with his brother Joe, Governor was arrested and sentenced to death for the murders. He was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 14 January 1901, days after the declaration and ‘birth’ of the Australian nation. It is widely accepted that Governor’s execution was delayed so as not to spoil the birthday party.' (Author's introduction)