Art winner hits back at Facebook racial slurs

Racebook … a prize-winner.
Racebook … a prize-winner.

AN ARTWORK hitting back at two Facebook groups full of racial slurs against Aborigines has won a prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

Raymond Zada, a South Australian artist, used the contents of the Facebook groups ''Aboriginal Spongebob'' and ''Giving ya wife a sniff of ya petrol cos ur a top noonga'' to create Racebook, which won the $4000 work-on-paper award.

Zada, who is of Aboriginal, Afghan and Scottish descent, used the sites' racial slurs to spell out ''racebook'' in a style similar to that used by Facebook.

His win yesterday came as another offensive Facebook page removed this week for portraying Aboriginal people as drunks and thieves reappeared elsewhere on the internet.

Facebook removed the content from the Aboriginal Memes Facebook page on Wednesday, after complaints.

But Joel Zyngier, a lawyer from the firm Holding Redlich, said the offending site had reappeared under a new name.

Zada said that even though the Facebook groups that inspired his work had come down, they had attracted 43,000 ''likes'' between them.

The winner of the main $40,000 award was the Tiwi Islands artist Timothy Cook for a work about coming of age.

In prizes for works in other media, each worth $4000, the award for general painting went to a dark work in synthetic polymer by South Australian artist Barbara Moore, the bark painting award was given to Arnhem Land artist Djirirra Wunungmurra, and the Wandjuk Marika Memorial award for sculpture went to Maningrida artist Jack Nawill.

This story Art winner hits back at Facebook racial slurs first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.