Power play.

Power play.Power is a force that provides an individual or a group the ability to control. The term ‘powerplay’ refers to the manipulation of power between people and can be seen in the doc After Mabo and Cop it Sweet, both text explore race relationships and the power discrepancy between white Australian and indigenous people. Although in the form of a doc to add credibility, both texts are in fact biased.
John Hugh’s ‘After Mabo’ focuses on the manipulation of power in politics emphasising the greed and fickleness of the politicians. Shown through Howard’s quote ‘if the High Court brings down a decision I will accept’, this is opposed to his later words ‘govt can make decisions’. This use of contradiction portrays him as a hypocrite and exposes the manipulation of power through verbal exertion. The Indigenous representatives must prove not only their cultural heritage but also their position as community leaders. In order to fight for justice, they have to follow the Western laws in the houses of parliament–buildings that are designed to maximize the sense of power and the authority of the government. The design of the Parliament House, with the Indigenous heritage outside and European inside, emphasizes the power positions within the negotiations. The conflict hungry media support the government by creating hype and falsehoods surrounding land issues. Shown through their highly emotive terms like ‘target’, ‘Mabo Style’ misleading the public into thinking the indigenous are taking over the land, this allows politicians to act arbitrarily as the public are frightened and unable to judge rationally. The creation of fear present the Aborigines as the ‘imaginary enemy’, swinging the public to the powerful National Farmer’s Federation, who pose themselves as the victim and uses propaganda such as ‘Who’ll feed Australia now’. The composer portrays the farmers’ federation to be money driven status seeking opportunists to elevate the Aborigines as noble and humble. Together with the song ‘Long Tall Ships’ and McGachie’s comment ‘we want it all written down.’ Hughes traces the social inequity and difference back to the origin of colonisation, where racism has been entrenched into Australian history; implying the past is still present. Mary Torren comments the land is the giver of identity which empowers the indigenous people. Having their land taken away, the Aborigines are dispossessed and powerless; which is the Govt’s psychological powerplay to marginalise them. Essentially, with the use of historical footages, the composer uses social inequity to alarm responders to question the notion of justice and democracy.
Meanwhile, the documentary ‘Cop it Sweet’ focuses on the police institution’s powerplay against minorities. The film starts with various News reports with images of police patrolling. Similar to ‘After Mabo’, both text starts with a collection of images to set a historic and social background, implying the two documentaries are both real, exist among the public - which are the intended audience. The composer displayed a scene of a man caught shop lifting food and other daily needs; this shows the social inequity among the low socio-economic areas. This man’s face was not shown, so the responder would not see him as an individual, but a whole repressed and marginalised group. Essentially, it comes down to the power discrepancy between cultures. This coincides with Glenn Ross’s comment ‘politicians who makes the law don’t have a close look at it.’ This quote shows the law makers are ignorant towards the welfare of the minorities, but rather warm up to the ones with wealth and status. This can also be seen in After Mabo as the politicians support the Farmers Federation in order to prolong their political career. The film uses various camera angels, a high shot of the police station, presenting it as an authoritative government institution and emphasise its hard accessibility by common people. The film is summed up by an officer’s remark ‘if you don’t have your mates and you do something wrong, no one will back you up.’ And an Abo women claimed ‘police inciting racial hatred’ and ‘1 billion black death in custody and not one police charged.’ This shows the conspiracy and corruption among the institutionalise police force. Although both texts are biased, the composer of After Mabo presents the indigenous as fighters. However, in ‘Cop it Sweet’, the indigenous are presented as criminals and powerless suppressed under the power of the police. In a way, the composer of ‘Cop It Sweet’ only shows the poor and weak Aborigines, hinting the inferiority of their race.
It is clear that power can be exploited for greed or exercised to achieve justice. Power is dynamic; as long as social inequity remains so would the manipulation of power.
This post originally appeared on http://www.essayblog.net/2009/11

Power play. 9.4 of 10 on the basis of 3849 Review.