The Streets 10i - Nice Coloured Girls


Streets alive with violence: Nice Coloured Girls

[imagecaption] ‘Nice Coloured Girls’, 1987. Video: Tracey Moffatt. [/imagecaption]


In Tracey Moffat’s Nice Coloured Girls three young Aboriginal girls walk the streets of a city that is and is not Kings Cross, the centre of the Sydney sex trade. The time is and is not the present. Aretha Franklin’s ‘Nasty Girl’ forms the part of the soundtrack together with the soundscape of a precolonial past.  Waves lap on a beach, transporting us to the beach of invasion. A voiceover presents sanctimonious extracts from early sailors’ diaries. The ‘captains’ bemoan the brutal treatment of Aboriginal women by Aboriginal men, while themselves luring the ‘lubras’ with food and commodities.  In the present, the young  women conspire to rob and deceive contemporary ‘captains’ merrily making away with their money.

In the brief space of the film, the young women do not ‘reclaim’ the city, but walk, knowingly, defiantly, through streets that are alive with the violence of the past as well as the present.


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