Tracey Moffatt is an Austraian photographer and filmmaker. She then moved to New York and began her career as an experimental filmmaker and as a producer of music videos and continued making films. Her concern with power relations is demonstrated in the series Scarred for Life (nine offset lithographs, 1994), which juxtapose photographs of children with text, mimicking the layout of Life magazine during the 1960s. Useless, 1974 (1994; priv. col., see B. Reinhardt, ed., p. 21), shows a young girl cleaning a car in a suburban setting; the text beneath reads ‘Her father's nickname for her was “useless”.' In the late 1990s she focused on the relationship between Australian Aborigines and white colonial settlers. The highly atmospheric seriesLaudanum (19 photo-engravings, 1998; Frankfurt, L. A. Gal.), shows the relationship between a woman and her aboriginal servant. Based on Pauline Reage's erotic novel Story of O (1954), it presents two actors posing in a variety of locations around a large house, suggesting sexual and power relations laced with narcotic hysteria. The use of photogravure and deliberately flawed prints heightens the ambience, informed by late 19th century photography as well as by Expressionist cinematic techniques of shadow and distortion. The typically dreamlike quality of these works creates a space in which actors can embody wider sexual and social conflicts. Moffatt has held approximately 100 solo exhibitions of her work in Europe, United States and Australia.
'Nice Coloured Girls" a film by Moffatt has strucked all of us in awe. It is a 24 minute long film.
Order No. W99136
This film explores the history of exploitation between white men and aboriginal women juxtaposing the “first encounter” between colonizers and native women with the attempts of modern urban Aboriginal women to reverse their fortunes. Through counterpoint of sound, image, and printed text, the film conveys the perspective of Aboriginal women while acknowledging that oppression and enforced silence still shape their consciousness.
Here's a short summary of the film I've found online.
"In a large Australian city, two young Aboriginal girls describe in voice-over their strategy for fleecing a “captain,” a White man, taking advantage of him to treat themselves to a free night on the town. We follow their maneuvers with amusement. The scenario holds no surprises and indeed the course the action takes is entirely predictable since this is not the first time the young women are up to their tricks. They come on to the “captain” while making sure to get him good and drunk, then get him to take them to a fine restaurant where they shamelessly take advantage of his money. At the end of the evening, they skip off laughing.
We shouldn’t be fooled, however. Their apparent victory or revenge is short-lived and seems more like a good trick than a real reversal of the situation, for these Aboriginal women are still confined to an inferior role, socially and economically. The counterpoint is clear. While they play their trick on the “captain,” other images of old drawings and idyllic views of untouched nature are inserted in the film, suspending the main action. From time to time, a hand scribbles over these images, challenging this version of the story and revealing contradictory and ambiguous links between the past and the present. Putting history in perspective in this way dramatizes the overt link that memory creates with the past events and one’s interpretation of them. It also underscores the burden of a past that has imposed unjust relationships that continue to perpetuate themselves in the present because they are so ingrained in people’s behavior.
The second story, which goes back to the 18th century, is also told in voice-over, by a man with a refined English accent. He recounts the first contact between a group of White who had landed in the unknown lands of South Wales and Aboriginal women.1 Speaking like an entomologist, he tells of his surprise and curiosity at the sight of these island women. His calm tone is an odd contrast to the seductive inflections and excited delivery of the young women’s voice-over of the main narrative. The English explorer is shown to be anxious about the wellbeing of the young native girl he observes and describes for us, which emphasizes the indifference and total lack of respect of young women vis-à-vis their hoodwinked “captain.” Juxtaposing the “objective” narrative of the Englishman discovering a new world and the adventures of these two sharp young women pitted against a stupid White patsy, Nice Colored Girls casts an unforgiving light on the complexity and inescapability of the ties between Aboriginal women and White men, ties that are subject to the laws of colonialism from the outset and which never manage to shake off that yoke.
The English observer’s version in all its objective-sounding glory, which once suggested a different future, belongs to the past. Now it is the young women’s turn to speak; it is they who fuel the dynamic part of the film. Yet what do they really tell us about if not the weakness of their social and economic place and their contempt for their own, easily fooled captain. The rules aren’t quite the same but they perpetuate the unpleasant whiff of colonialism." -Isabelle Aeby Papaloïzos
To me, this film is about stereotyping african women and that the title 'nice coloured girls" is just part of sarcasm. Even, up till today, people still have this idea where all the african women are low class. They are uneducated people, strong, criminals and uncivilized. I think that this is a racism issue and everyone should take the time to start contemplating about this issue. Look at these pictures I've found on facebook and on google.
It's sad to see how the media is not helping but instead they are aggravating this matter. And most of the things that the media published aren't true. It's just there to stir up anger among us and how irrational can humans be by fabricating lies and making false accusation about other races and religion. As an artist, this provoked me to make artworks and addresses on issues like these and hope for a change. If the society remains like these, our world will be a terrible place to live in and these affects all of us as there'll be more war torn countries like Syria. This world is already pretty much corrupted by the media along with ignorant and half-witted people like Donald Trump. Therefore, I want to make a change and I want the world to be a better place.