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Celebrating The Rich Histories Of First Nations Storytelling This NAIDOC Week

Celebrating The Rich Histories Of First Nations Storytelling This NAIDOC Week

Celebrated annually, NAIDOC Week recognises the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year for NAIDOC Week, Netflix is honouring the rich history of First Nations cultures by commissioning original artwork for a specially curated collection of First Nations films and series  to connect our members with these important stories and storytellers.

We’ve partnered with artist Luke Mallie who created the unique artwork “Rainbow Serpent Dreaming”, which members in Australia and New Zealand will see when they visit the ‘First Nations Forever' page on Netflix. On this page, members can access a curated selection of 30 titles centred on Indigenous Australian perspectives, including The Art Of Incarceration, a new documentary that explores – through the eyes of Indigenous prisoners at Victoria’s Fulham Correctional Centre – how art and culture can empower First Nations people to transcend unjust cycles of imprisonment. 

We talked with Luke about the inspiration for his design:

Tell us more about you, and your art.

I am of both Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island descent with ties to the Kuku Yalanji Nation in the Daintree, North Queensland, and from Kubin Village on Moa Island in the Torres Strait Islands. I am a national award-winning artist with the NAIDOC Poster Award in 2009 and the Art Lovers Australia Award in 2018.

 My artistic styles are very contemporary and diverse, ranging from original paintings, graphic designs, illustrations and caricatures, working in a broad range of mediums. The main inspirations for my artworks are from my traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, family and tropical surroundings. My art is also influenced by popular culture and ancient cultures throughout the world.

My drive to create stems from knowing my artwork can inspire and empower others to discover something amazing in their own lives and perform to their own full potential. 

 What was the Inspiration behind your artwork?

“Rainbow Serpent Dreaming” is inspired by ancient Dreaming stories of the Aboriginal people. The Rainbow Serpent is a powerful symbol of life and creation, an ancestral being that embodies the spirit of the land and its people. Paintings of the Rainbow Serpent appear in Arnhem Land rock art dating back 8000 years ago and it is considered a powerful presence within traditional ceremonies and gatherings. The Rainbow Serpent brings people together to celebrate life and empower their heritage through unity and traditional cultural practices, The flags of both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples fly proudly in “Rainbow Serpent Dreaming” as dancers celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over many generations.

What does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

NAIDOC Week is a celebration and recognition of the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is an opportunity for people to come together and commemorate a rich history of tradition through a connection to the land. NAIDOC week fosters a deep sense of appreciation for the beautiful diversity that exists in our national identity.

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Films, series and documentaries we’re highlighting this NAIDOC Week include The Art of Incarceration, My Name Is Gulpilil, Gurrumul, Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, Jasper Jones, Rabbit Proof Fence, Top End Wedding, and Samson and Delilah. 

Looking for a recommendation? We asked Luke which titles he’s looking forward to watching:

Rabbit Proof Fence, Gurrumul and Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra – all wonderful artistic productions that contribute to the ongoing and growing representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the creative space.”

Members in Australia and New Zealand can find this page and check out all the ‘First Nations Forever’ titles at Netflix.com/NAIDOC, or by searching ‘NAIDOC’ on Netflix. This collection contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Luke Mallie is represented by creative company BUCK.

Nathan Burman

PR Director

nburman@netflix.com