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Being Human

Jen Cloher

A rally to Australians to give land back to the True Owners

Why I wrote this song

Climate crisis and colonisation are inextricably linked. Indigenous people only make up 5% of the world’s population but they take care of 80% of the world’s biodiverse lands and waters. This is why Land Back to indigenous people is crucial in working towards solutions. They have the ability and relationship based on thousands of years of connection to land, waters and skies.

About me as an artist

Jen Cloher (Ngāpuhi & Ngāti Kahu) is a songwriter and performer living on unceded Wurundjeri land in Naarm (Melbourne) Australia. Cloher’s taut, terse brand of rock is charged with the static tension that comes with being an eternal misfit; they have spoken truth to power with the shrewd eye that only an outsider can possess. Admirers have naturally gravitated towards Cloher’s incisive, generous songwriting.

Over the course of five albums, they have won a J Award and an AIR Award and been nominated for an ARIA and the Australian Music Prize. In 2012 Cloher founded Milk! Records with Courtney Barnett releasing music from Sleater Kinney, Tiny Ruins, Hachiku and more.

About the music video

Through learning my matrilineal language Te reo Māori I have considered at depth my life in so called Australia as a settler and the erasure and genocide of First Nations people and their culture.

The video features Te Hononga o ngā Iwi Kapa Haka (a Māori performing arts group) based here in Naarm. Their presence in the clip is an act of solidarity with First Peoples both here and all around the world who have had their land stolen. It is a reminder that we must all work towards Land Back as allies. This is the healing and close relationship the earth needs. Without indigenous knowledge we don’t have a plan.

The environmental organisations I admire or support

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, SEED Mob, Firesticks Alliance, Protect Putiki, Native Women’s Association of Canada

Discover

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A hand placed on a rock
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Three people riding horses looking out into the sunset
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Three band members staring towards camera. Two are playing guitars
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