The Northern Face of Uluru.
I was working in Uluru KataTjuta National Park last week, but the rock was not on the agenda, it never is, I’m usually working in the community behind the rock Mutitjulu or on the way to Docker River on the edge of the Gibson Desert, what it does do is a great job of putting whatever story I’m working on in context because it’s so identifiable, so emblematic, so Iconic…(a word used a total of 8 times by our tour guide from the Sunshine Coast)
Moon rises over Uluru.
The reader is lead to the story by the big red rock and what ever reactions they have to it and plus the the editors always demand a 6 column picture of the thing, it’s not about what it looks like, it’s about how it makes you feel… and a lot of white people form around the world feel something special, after all coming to Australia, especially Central Australia takes effort, a commitment to an idea of the spiritual center of a continent and craving an experience that lives up to what they see in their dreams.
The Northern Face of Uluru, Night
Now I come from a different part of the country and grew up looking at red hills every day so I don’t feel a special need to embrace the “Great Tor” but I can see it’s appeal to the world at large but what really does my head in is the experience of the Traditional Owners ,the residents of Mutitjulu, whose stories and culture work to “SELL” the Uluru experience,
to give that experience authenticity while living in the shadow of it,
Housing in Mutitjulu
in substandard housing, with poor education options and a lack of services that should make a government blush and meanwhile a short drive away from some of the most luxurious accommodation in the country, where you can gaze longingly at the Monolith at sunset while sipping fine wines and nibbling Kangaroo Carpaccio…I had the pleasure on my last trip ( courtesy of NT Tourism) and while I can now empathize with the visitors and their hopes and dreams being intertwined with climbing a rock in the middle of the desert despite the explicit wishes of Traditional Owners
‘Wanya Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima, Please don’t climb Uluru’!
Tourists embrace at the foot of the climb
I reckon the powers that be in that part of the world would rather you Minga’s (ants) drive around back to Muti, empty your wallets at the front gate, and go to the Gold Coast!
Tourists Climbing Uluru