A Tasmanian Devil cartoon has been branded “horribly racist” and “a disgusting piece of propaganda” by the Australian Council for Cultural and Indigenous Affairs (ACCCIA).
The cartoon is part of a series of cartoons about “a dark side of the Tasmanian sun”, including the “Tasmanians are the most intelligent people on Earth” and the “We don’t want to know what you are up to”.
“The cartoon makes the point that if you don’t like the Tasmanians, don’t have an opinion about them, you don,re a Tasmanist and are just a stupid racist,” Ms Collins said.
“I don’t think it’s a particularly good way to think about Tasmanian history, or to engage with people, it’s rather like saying if you’re not Tasmanian, you’re a terrorist and don’t belong in Tasmania.”
The cartoons were produced by the Tasman Institute of Contemporary Art and were published online.
“The Tasmanian Devils are just the worst cartoon characters we have,” Ms Kelly said.
She said it was also a shame that it was the first time a cartoon like this had been published in Australia.
“It’s an extremely distasteful piece of content that is just completely wrong,” she said.
The Tasmanians have a history of violence and racial discrimination, including racial vilification in the 1930s and 1940s.
They are also a people who, until recently, were a bit of a mystery, Ms Kelly added.
“They’ve been so long neglected by their history that it’s hard to imagine that they could be in such dire straits,” she added.’
It’s appalling’The cartoon has received a lot of criticism, and the Tasman Times ran an editorial on Saturday calling the cartoon “a shameful example of the cartoonists’ art”.
“It is extremely distressing that this is happening in the first place, and we can’t imagine how it feels to see someone’s family or a close friend suffer for something that’s a very small part of their history,” the newspaper’s editor, Richard Smith, said.
He also said the cartoon was “horrifying” and called for the cartoonist to “take responsibility”.
“If this person is not a Tasmanians person, then he or she should not be allowed to have any say in who appears in this cartoon,” he wrote.
“As it stands, they are the worst Tasmanian cartoon characters and should be removed from the Tasman Library.”‘
They’re just a bunch of dumb racists’The Tasman Institute also released a statement on the cartoon, saying it was an “absurd caricature of Tasmanians”.
“These cartoonists have failed to recognise that the Tasman people are not as diverse as the cartoon would have you believe, that Tasmanians are a vibrant and diverse society, that we are the largest landlocked state in Australia, and that Tasmanian devils are intelligent and intelligent animals who enjoy having fun and are proud of their colour,” the institute said.
Ms Collins said the cartoons were not intended to be “anti-Tasmania”.
“I think the cartoon is just an offensive and racist piece of cartooning, I don’t see why it would be used for that purpose,” she told the ABC.
“To think that the cartoons themselves would be such a hateful piece of media, I just don’t understand how that could be.”‘
It makes me want to get off the land’Tasmenian devils have a very distinct history, from their first appearance in a Victorian manor in 1849, when a white man bought a property and put them on the Tasman Peninsula.
The devils have also had a long history of being a threat to humans.
“Tasmans devils have been a problem for us in the past, there’s no question about that,” Ms Gardiner said.”[But] what we are doing here is a celebration of the fact that Tasmania has a diverse population and that we have been here for a long time.”
Ms Kelly said she wanted people to take a look at the history of the devils and the stories of the people who have come before.
“A lot of the stories that have been told in the Tasmanies are really quite tragic, I want people to understand that, even if you have no idea who a Tasmanie is, or how Tasmanian folklore has existed,” she explained.
“That’s what’s exciting about these things, that the stories have been written by people who know Tasmanians.”
Topics:human-interest,arts-and-entertainment,animals,people,tass,melbourne-3000,vic,australiaContact Melissa KellyMore stories from Tasmania