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On the Outback Road: Australia’s Wild West

On the Outback Road: Australia’s Wild West

The Great Northern Highway connects Australia’s coastal cities with gold and iron ore mines. On the Path: Men’s Worlds as Influenced by the Proletariat.

Great Northern Highway between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing Photo: Richard Wainwright/Imaego

The Australian Outback is the most believable Wild West to date. With a rental camper we drive through the endless bushland of Western Australia, along the Great Northern Highway, where we encounter kangaroo carcasses and trucks. A settlement appears every hundred kilometers, mostly a road house, so-called grilled meat-heavy rest stops, and a gas station with a few makeshift camps.

Food and petrol are the most important items here. If a place actually has residents, the shops have an archaic look: trading posts, a telegraph station from the 19th century, a small movie theater with a hand-painted sign as in the 2000s, and internet cafes.

The lonely road serves only one purpose: it connects countless mines to coastal towns. In gold mines, iron ore mines, coal mines, workers often live on a fly-in, fly-out basis: weeks on end, like on a ship. This gives the region a unique atmosphere. In the roadhouses we meet almost exclusively truckers and miners; Those places retain the touch of the Gold Rush. Small settlements are a completely male world, except for the women behind the bar, mostly young immigrants. Just started in America Movie “The Royal Hotel” There is a basis for making this scene a sexist horror film. At the same time, men’s conversational slurs provide access to a proletarian Australia.

Tribal communities are less common. They are often located at the end of dusty tracks far from the highway, sometimes protected from xenophobic interest by an access permit. There are exceptions. Mount Magnet has a large tribal population. It’s eighty percent, explains the woman at the Native Arts Center. She sells tribal art to transients; Many local artists can earn a living through this.

“Many ancestors lived in the sea.”

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The seller is white and the artwork is traditional in style. And the project is difficult to evaluate. An art house that belongs to the tribal community and preserves their culture is great. A white woman interprets the art and the style is similar, giving it a touch of bonpipe music.

Sellers says that images can be seen in images that connect humans with their ancestors: scenes of hunting. Marine animals. Marine animals? “Many ancestors lived in the sea.” It is not known whether the people came voluntarily, as displaced persons or in search of work. One of the sea-born artists is from the stolen generation, according to the center’s website. Some things are not said about the Great Northern Highway.