This is a powerful and fascinating story of recent Indigenous history in Australia. Wenten Rubuntja is an Arrernte man who has made a major contribution to the art and politics of his time. Highly respected for the depth and breadth of his traditional contemporary worlds.
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The Town Grew Up Dancing is Wenten Rubuntja’s story. It provides a rare view of events that shaped the life of an Arrernte man who has made a major contribution to the art and politics of his time. Wenten was a key figure in the land rights movement in Central Australia in the mid-1970s and has since played a lively and formative role as an Aboriginal statesman in his home town of Alice Springs. He is highly respected for the depth and breadth of his traditional knowledge and for his unique skills as a negotiator. This book reveals the humour and wisdom of an Aboriginal man skilled at engaging in both the traditional and the contemporary worlds. The story is told in Wenten’s own words – in his first language, Arrernte, with accompanying translations, and in Aboriginal English. The book also includes the voices of many who have been close to Wenten, including members of his own family, and others who have worked with him over the years. Additional commentary is provided by linguist and artist Jenny Green and historian Tim Rowse. This fascinating and innovative book weaves together autobiography and biography in a powerful story of recent Indigenous history in Australia. The book features Wenten’s own commentary on his paintings, and photographs in colour and black and white bring his story and Alice Springs’ colourful past vividly to life.