The history of humanity is not the telling of stories but their retelling: perversely, the retelling of a story can have considerably more power than its incarnation, its first telling or its truth.

Ancient fertility myths retold as Christian canon have created today’s calendar as well as countless structures for social cohesion and social control. Baudy oral histories retold by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault took age-old, authorless stories and sanitised them into fairy tales for the burgeoning printing press. Hollywood films remade as Hollywood films continue to drive a lucrative industry that reinforces social norms through stereotype and cliché.

Retelling Australia’s colonial invasion story as European heroism empowered the aggressor to inscribe a new origin myth upon a land whose Dreaming is older than any story the rest of the world had ever heard.

Anyone can retell a story. Only an artist can create one anew. That’s why they power our world…

>>> Read on in Arts Northern Rivers’ Sector Soapbox


IMAGE: Still from TERROR NULLIUS – see Time Out‘s response and NAVA’s position on championing confident philanthropy.