Dehumanisation Of Aboriginal People In No Sugar, By John Pilgen

Improved Essays
Aboriginal people are the original custodians of Australia. They have survived on this land for thousands of years before European settlement in 1788, and it is one of the longest surviving cultures in the world. However, Australian society has turned a blind-eye to the culture and traditions of Aboriginal people. They are choosing to ignore the tragic past that ended in many massacres of Aboriginal people. The documentary Utopia directed by John Pilger, and the play No Sugar by Jack Davis demonstrate the dehumanisation of Aboriginal people, and how white authority figures try to manipulate society’s views. By presenting these issues, Pilger and Davis are striving to make the audience feel guilty about the mistreatment of Aboriginal people. …show more content…
In Utopia, it is shown through interviews and actual footage of the living spaces where Aboriginal communities live. An Aboriginal male named Eric Elkedra states that there can be up to twenty people living in a house with no kitchen, no air conditioners, no showers, and no electricity. He states the only access to water he has is through a tap outside in which he uses not only for drinking, but also for hosing the children since there is no shower. He describes his house as being nothing more than a tin shed. However, next to his house is a Government Business Manager’s building which has eighteen air conditioners. How is this fair? Eighteen air conditioners for a few people who work at the building, but no air conditioners for up to twenty people living in a hot tin shed that they have to call home. It’s like society is classing them as animals like in No Sugar. In the stage directions in Act 1, Scene 2, it states there is a sign on a door saying “Government of Western Australia, Fisheries, Forestry, Wildlife and Aborigines”. By having Aboriginals classed under the same category as fisheries and wildlife, it is dehumanising them and saying that they are the same as animals, not a human being. This is taking away their human rights. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 states “All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed …show more content…
Both texts expose how white Australian’s react to Aboriginal’s. In Utopia, John Pilger used vox pop to present people’s attitudes towards Aboriginal’s. One man, with his young child and wife told Pilger that he was “…full of shit…” This presents that people would rather turn a blind eye and pretend they don’t know about anything, rather than face the issue that’s right in front of them. This makes the audience feel guilty as they can see firsthand how people ignore Aboriginal people, and turn a blind eye to it.
In No Sugar, in Act 4, Scene 5, when Jimmy dies from a heart attack, Mr. Neal, the Superintendent of the Moore River Settlement, claims “Ah! He’s only fainted”. This shows that he doesn’t care to see what is wrong with Jimmy; instead he jumps to conclusions that he will be fine. This makes the audience feel guilty because it exhibits how people react towards Aboriginal people, and how they jump to conclusions.
Utopia directed by John Pilger, and No Sugar by Jack Davis show the dehumanisation of Aboriginal people in different ways. Utopia, being a documentary, it leads people to expect the truth and evidence supporting the truth. No Sugar presents an idea through the play, which makes people reflect on how they could try to make a

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