Through Joe Geia’s iconic songs significant events in Queensland’s Black History will be revealed through music, projected visual backdrop for each of the 16 songs and storytelling from Joe Geia and special guest, Aboriginal Rights activist, writer & publisher Cheryl Buchanan.
The songs that are showcased in this new undertaking are Geia’s songs (with the exceptions of a song by Graham Brady from the celebrated Brisbane band Bapu Mamoos, an unearthed song by his father, Albie Geia and Mop and the Dropouts, Brisbane Blacks.
This show is a glimpse into Queensland’s black history and the achievements of our elders and leaders whose struggle achieved so much for future generations. Joe Geia’s history and career is inextricably linked to the events told through song in this show.
The background visual clips include footage of leaders such as Uncle Don Brady and Willie Thaiday, the beginning of Murri Radio, land rights demonstrations as well as Joe’s original paintings.
Joe Geia’s song Kwanji pays homage to Pastor Don Brady, who was a leader of the fight for justice & equality and in establishing organisations now taken for granted, such as Aboriginal housing, legal and health organisations. He was a lifetime fighter for his people as well as a teacher of keeping traditions and language strong. Video and stills of the time will be screening in the background (with permission of the Brady family).
And his song, Uncle Willie references Willie Thaiday’s book “Protected: Under the Act”; telling of the harshness of living under “The Act” with visuals of Uncle Willie Thaiday. Willie Thaiday was alongside Joe’s father, Albie Geia and five other leaders of the historic 1957 Palm Island strike and the fight for fair wages and conditions.
Geia has proven longevity in the Australian music industry, with a career that stems from the late 1970s until today – about 40 years so far. He was one of the pioneers of Indigenous contemporary music who paved the way and opened the door for many contemporary Indigenous musicians who followed.