The Rabbits

The rabbits

successfully presents an analagy of 18th century British colonisation of 'terra nullius' and the insuing enchroachment of their civilisation on the rights and freedoms of aboriginal peoples effectively displacing them as owners of their lands. The historical context illuminated by the arrival of the first fleet in 1788 carrying the symbolic motif of the union jack epitamises the british stamp of authority on the environs of which they invade.

Thomas Austin released 24 wild rabits on his property; the beginning of an enviromental distruction. the parrallel of tan and marsdens use of the rabbits as a metaphor for white settlers plays on the pun to breed like rabbits
and alienated to remain on the fringes of the rabbits' society.

The rabbits' journey parallels that of governments initatives to control indigenous Australians:
-Stolen Generation
The rabbits' are styilyzed acting to affectively represent british superiority and highlight the artificial connection they perport to have with the land. The visual impact of the text is powerfully emotive in the detail. The initially bright colours used fade witht the continuation of the rabbits' journey, and monotones and blackness impact heavily charged by the possums' despair at being ousted from their home, their placer of belonging. A montage of images evoke empathy, sufferage and injustice as the possums drink from their river then die, illustraiting the historical 'poisining' of in indigenous people for the purpose of irratication or extermination.

Plate 11 of the infant possums being flown in ballons/kites(box) from the care of parents silhouettes the sheer number of indigenous children tragically removed; a main policy for which the nation apoligsed on the 13th of feb 2008.

Marsden and tan (2000) present a cautionary tale on the effects of displacement and alienating those indigenous keepers of this country's lands whose knowledge of its...