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A stunningly beautiful gift of tears and kindness.

Posted by Bronwyn Newnham on

The beautiful and wonderful Jacinta Arden described the events of three years ago, on the 15th of March, as one of New Zealand's darkest days. A lone man went into two mosques in Christchurch and killed 51 and injured 40 precious people during their Friday prayers.

Since this time Prime Minister Arden has worked to gain international support to curb online violence and extremism. Her plan, now called the "Christchurch Call", is to ask the member nations of the European Union to put a legal requirement in law to "Ban objectionable material online and create a framework for media to report on atrocities without amplifying them" (2)

The Prime Minister of France, Emmanuel Macron, has backed the NZ Prime Minister's call to sign the agreement and at an EU Summit in Paris, on the 15th of May in 2019, 17 nations and 8 of the big tech companies were the founding signatories to the Christchurch Call Summit Agreement. There is still so much progress to be made in achieving this goal.

In Australia, an Indigenous Artist, Nyunmiti Burton, from South Australia's remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yanknytjatjara Lands, was also moved to take action. She called for a gathering of female indigenous Australian artists at Amanta, near Uluru, to talk over Christchurch and to paint. These artists included; Nyunmiti Burton, Vicki Cullinan, Barbara Moore, Sharon Ken, Clarise Tunkin, Priscilla Singer, Teresa Tunkin, Eadie Curtis and Yaritji Young and are all from the APY Art Centre Collective.

These women wanted to share their sorrow with the people of Christchurch. 

 

 "What came of that is two large canvasses that depict the sorrow of a people separated by sea and culture but united in humanity" (Rebecca Puddy, ABC News) 

The canvasses both depict the honey Grevilla flower, from a bush that flowers in winter and has long beautiful spikes of green and yellow flowers.

Nyunmiti Buton said "For us, when we lose someone, we go to the communities and we grieve and we grieve and we grieve. We grieve with the families and we bring them flowers and we put it onto the coffins to express our love"

This was their gift of flowers to the grieving families of Christchurch. 

"We wanted to do that on this painting so that it could be with you forever." 

The first of the canvasses was presented to Adelaide's Muslim community during Ramadan.

On receiving the stunning painting, Iman Riad El-Rifai said:

"This signifies not only your own greatness, but also the significance of people getting together despite their backgrounds, in spite of their language, and the significance of coming together not only in times of difficulties but also in times of ease."

The second canvas, titled Kunupa Kutju, or 'One Spirit', was presented to the Islamic community in Christchurch. 

 

 Aboriginal artist Nyunmiti Burton told the gathering that “we have different skin, different languages, but we are one”. 

 

References:

1. ABC News: 'Aboriginal community gives gifts of sorrow to Islamic community after Christchurch shooting' Read here

2. ABC News: Jacinta Arden takes online extremism battle to EU after mosque massacre' Read here

3. Christchurch Mosque Shooting: Wikipedia

4. Christchurch City Council, Newsline. "Aboriginal artists gift flowers of hope to Christchurch". Read here

 

A stunning gift of tears and kindness.

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