Mosaic tables and warm colours welcome myself and Monica Weightman to the old nut shop on Lygon Street. Our host, Hana Assafiri, meets us outside with an enormous grin, which sets the mood for a good afternoon.
313 Lygon Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
When Monica and I get to the Morroccan Deli-Cacy, Ago is already there. He asks “Are you ready?” as our engineer arrives. This is our third shoot, and Agostino and I are starting to get into the swing of things. I am beginning to realise just how good he is, too.
I am anxious to get Hana talking about the Deli-Cacy in the context of art, connection and social space. She’s a brilliant speaker and I was keen to meet her after hearing interviews on 3RRR and ABC Radio in 2017. The first thing we do is sit and drink the Turkish coffee, and soak up the atmosphere of the late afternoon crowd.
Assafiri is a well-known activist and part of the team behind ‘Speed Date a Muslim’. She talks animatedly about the mission behind her venues and programs before we even get in the door. Hana believes strongly that with respectful communication and shared space, we can build a better world.
A big fan of Weightman, Hana launches into praise of our guest as an artist. Weightman is a blistering lead guitarist, songwriter, a Murri woman with ties to East Brunswick and Torres Strait Island, and a member of the LGBTQI community. Both women live their politics with verve and grace. Weightman was involved in the first album of Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project, and also teaches – often focussing on youth and indigenous culture. Her bio is extensive, and yet she has very little online presence. Researching her is slow, and providing links to her work is quite difficult. You are most likely to find her through her collaboration with others.
‘Living It Up’
Co-written by Paul Hester
‘Who Will Sing My Song’
by Richard Frankland
Rooted in the identity and culture of a living indigenous culture, it feels serious to be invited to join Weightman for Who Will Sing My Song.
I love the message – that our traditions live on through the next generations, if we can be brave enough to teach them, and brave enough to learn them.
Richard Frankland, one of Australia’s most experienced Aboriginal singer/songwriters, authors and film makers, is a proud Gunditjmara man who has worked as a soldier, fisherman, and Field Officer during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. A presenter in the award winning Australian documentary Who Killed Malcolm Smith, he is also a member of The Charcoal Club, together with Weightman.
Airport Traffic is about the NT intervention. The lyrics try to describe a reaction to the NT situation from my position as a white city dweller. I’m proud of the song, so as a person who does not identify as Indigenous it is important to me to have Weightman’s approval before we start. And of course, it’s a thrill to have her guitar licks in this recording.