News: Dan Sultan tells us a ‘Story’ in song of a life lived in the shadows of transgenerational trauma

Australian Indigenous artist of the Arrernte/Gurindji people, and multi-ARIA Award winning singer songwriter, Dan Sultan, has released new song, Story, a tale of transgenerational trauma that affects so many indigenous lives, including his own. Sadly, Dan’s experience is one that bears an enormous resemblance to many throughout indigenous Australia.

Transgenerational trauma (also known as intergenerational trauma) is the trauma suffered across different generations which is often expressed when the descendant of someone who experienced trauma presents challenging emotional and behavioural reactions that may be similar to their ancestor or relative. This is especially more significant amongst marginalized populations (in this case, the indigenous aboriginal population in Australia). Racism, the break-up of family units, segregation, the loss of lands and the lack of opportunities normally afforded to ‘white’ Australia have had a significant impact over many years and generations

As Dan himself explains “STORY is piece of work that I feel I’ve been creating my whole life. It’s a song written about an event that would shape my world in many different ways both ugly and beautiful. To be told that you’re not welcome on the basis of your race is something that brings a lot of trauma. To have received a note that states this at such a formative age of 4 years old then set in motion a struggle that would be present in one way or another for my entire life. It also put in place a determination that would see me achieve incredible things. And so, it continues on and I don’t see an end to it. I feel extremely fortunate that I have the gift and capacity to make such a beautiful work as STORY is from something so disgusting and ugly. I feel this is the best and most powerful example I can provide for my kids. The notes will never stop and people will always see things differently from one another. My goal with a work like STORY is to be as powerful and beautiful as possible for my family regardless and in spite of anyone else’s ugly notes. I will continue to create what I feel is beautiful and I will endeavour to ensure that these creations provide pride and happiness for my family into the future. That’s my STORY.”

Story is released on Liberation Records, and can be found here.

Featured Image: As supplied

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