CULTURAL SENSITIVITY WARNINGS:
AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this site contains the names, images, and voices of people now passed and resting in the Dreaming.
You may see cultural sensitivity warnings in places such as television programs, news articles, library catalogues, social media etc.
These warnings typically read something like:
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [viewers, listeners, readers] are advised that the following [program, article, exhibition, post] may contain/contains images, names and voices of people who have died”.
Cultural sensitivity warnings notify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that the content may be sensitive and therefore offer an opportunity for us to decide whether or not we wish to engage with it.
In some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures it is against protocol to engage with content such as photos, recordings, names and written material of peoples who have passed, particularly during a period of mourning. This content can cause sadness, distress and in some cases, offense against these protocols. For example, some Aboriginal cultures believe that distributing content of a person who has passed will call their spirit back to this world and affect their passing into their Dreaming.
You may see that a person’s name is modified or a circumlocution used. For example, “Dr M Yunpuingu” or “the former lead singer of Yothu Yindi”.
In some cases, such as when a well-known person passes away, the local community may provide instructions or special permissions on how the name, voice or images of the person may be used. For example, the family of Gurrumul Yunupingu gave special permission for the use of his full name and image to preserve his legacy.
It is important that cultural protocol is maintained and respected at all times.
Please refrain from posting photos, recordings or other content of recently passed peoples without the consent of the family and/or community. Alick Tipoti (Badu Island, Kala Lagaw Ya people) explains this in the article below.
On Blak Business we include some detail in our cultural sensitivity warnings so that viewers have a general understanding of what the content contains.
Our warnings typically read something like:
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following post contains images of Zenadth Kes men now passed (c. 1920)”.
This warning indicates that the post will contain photos of men from Zenadth Kes in the 1920s.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following story contains the images and stories of Aboriginal matriarchs now resting in the Dreaming”.
This warning indicates that the story will contain photos and information about Aboriginal women who have passed.
If there is content on Blak Business that you believe to be culturally sensitive, please contact us.