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My Skin, My Life - Opening Ceremony, Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
Image: Sketch - Canoe
Source: Museum Victoria
The Indigenous segment of the Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games was entitled 'My Skin, My Life'.
'In some ways it's about reviving traditional practices in a contemporary way, not being museum pieces, but being alive and having something to offer right now.' - Wesley Enoch, Segment Director, `My Skin, My Life'.
The Yarra River (Birrarung), the Melbourne Cricket Ground site and the Aboriginal people of the Melbourne region are powerfully connected. These connections were highlighted by director Wesley Enoch, who made his name creating performances that engage with Indigenous culture as it is lived today, while looking back on thousands of years of tradition. The magnificent fibreglass canoe echoes traditional bark canoes paddled down the Yarra, a fusion of past and present. Beneath the projected waters, the life of the river is revealed to the Boy by the Young Woman, as delicate puppets of eels and fish slide past each other. The possum skin cloaks were created by local artists and Indigenous communities, and were worn by elders from Victoria's 37 language groups. Made using traditional methods, the cloaks had designs burned into them about the life and land of the people wearing them, and the communities they represent.
At the MCG, a sacred site of the local Aboriginal people, elders and their representatives from around Victoria joined with other members the Indigenous community to show the Boy the way forward.
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