?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Living Loz
100 Unwritten Fics #004 
1st-May-2012 05:47 pm
Loz Cola
This wouldn't be fanfic, it would be original fiction.

I haven't written a story based on the Lands.


From the beginning, part of me has always wanted to write fictionalised autobiography from my time on the Lands. I've had a title and a basic plot and everything. From the beginning, I've always felt it would be a terrible idea.

In the end, when I draw up a tally of 'everything I learned about Anangu', not even a quarter of a page would be filled. While in some ways I was a member of community (and my last few weeks showed me I was valued), there was still so, so much I didn't know, didn't have the right to know. Anything I'd write would be missing integral truths. While I think I would go embark upon writing such a story with the best intentions of being balanced and honest, I feel like it would be completely exploitative. It would appropriate other people's voices. It would fall into some very icky 'we needed the white (wo)men to come and save us' tropes.

And yet, and yet, there is always going to be at least a teeny, tiny part of me who says that at least I have some knowledge in this area, I could redress some common misconceptions.

If you are reading this, some of you may remember that one of my former students passed away at the beginning of this year. Her death was a tragedy and whenever I think about her and her family my heart aches. One of the things that made the whole situation worse was how the print news reported her death --- not a word was fact. They got her age wrong, they reported the cause behind her death incorrectly, and they made baseless claims about how Anangu would show their grief. It was disgusting how ill-informed a usually respected news outlet could be. That teeny, tiny part of me was very loud at that time.

But, no, I certainly wouldn't write a story about the Lands based on only four years working there (it seemed so much longer at the time.) What I would like to do one day is transcribe and compile a collection of authentic Anangu voices telling their autobiographic stories. I think that would be far more valuable to the world.



Reason(s) for not having written: The reasons are many and varied and to be found beneath the cut.
Comments 
1st-May-2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
Your reasons for not writing this are completely valid. At the same time, I would venture that as long your trepidation became part of the story, there's no reason why you couldn't. If the main character voices the same concerns you write here, then you bring an important theme to the table - integration of 'outsiders', misconceptions in the press, whether people have a right to tell a story about a community they're not a part of.

If it's done with sensitivity, authenticity and the community itself is given a voice, then you could have something really special. There's a difference between you writing their story, and you writing your story, as it relates to them.

It's just a thought, though. If your gut instinct says 'no', then it may be the way to go.
1st-May-2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
See, this is always what the inner voice says. That has always been my take on it. But I still think, even with the best intentions, it could embody what it's trying not to. I really think I'd have to be living on the Lands, working there for a lot longer, if I'm ever to write this.
1st-May-2012 12:41 pm (UTC)
Ultimately, what you really think is the decider. But as a suggestion - maybe try it? Don't write it off until you've given it go? No one else in the world has to see it, but at least with something on paper then you'd have an idea of the tone it was taking. Then you'd be able to decide if you were comfortable taking it further.

All I can add is that my first thought on reading that post was, 'wow, I'd read that book'. Because it sounds awesome.
This page was loaded Nov 24th 2017, 1:33 pm GMT.