Ziggy Ramo’s ‘Human?’: A Bold Exploration of Australia’s History and Identity

Ziggy Ramo's 'Human?': A Bold Exploration of Australia's History and Identity

In his groundbreaking debut book, Australian rapper Ziggy Ramo challenges the very foundations of Australia’s identity. Titled Human? A Lie that has been Killing us since 1788, Ramo delves into the deep-rooted issues of dehumanization faced by the First Australians, addressing incarceration rates, disparities in life expectancy, and the ongoing impact of colonization. Ziggy Ramo’s ‘Human?’: A Bold Exploration of Australia’s History and Identity

Ramo’s work transcends traditional genres; it’s part memoir, part radical history, and part manifesto. Each chapter corresponds to an artwork and a song from his forthcoming album, creating a multi-dimensional experience for readers who can also listen to the music via QR codes printed inside the book.

The central premise of Human? is a powerful indictment of Australia’s history and its ongoing effects on Indigenous communities. Ramo argues that Australia was built on a falsehood that grants humanity to some while dehumanizing others, perpetuating systemic injustices. By intertwining personal narrative with historical analysis, Ramo invites readers to confront uncomfortable truths about Australia’s past and present.

One chapter of particular significance explores Ramo’s song “April 25th,” which contains controversial lyrics expressing disdain for the Anzacs. Ramo challenges the double standard in Australian society, where criticism of the Anzacs is met with shock while the violence of colonization against Aboriginal Australians often goes unacknowledged. He argues that this discrepancy stems from the dehumanization of Indigenous peoples, which allows for their suffering to be overlooked.

Ramo’s work has already sparked controversy, with the song “April 25th” facing censorship on platforms like the ABC and prompting complaints during live performances. However, he remains steadfast in his commitment to honesty and sincerity in his art.

The book’s release comes at a time of cultural unease, with Ramo addressing the failures of the Indigenous voice referendum and the ongoing need for reconciliation. He challenges readers to re-evaluate their understanding of history and identity, advocating for a more honest and inclusive narrative.

Ramo’s use of language is intentional and radical. He rejects terms like Aboriginal, native, and Indigenous, which he sees as tools of colonization, in favor of “Original Peoples.” This sets the tone for a book that seeks to reclaim Indigenous identity and challenge colonial narratives.

In addition to his literary endeavors, Ramo is known for his music, including a reworking of the Paul Kelly classic “Little Things,” and his work in television, notably the 2023 series Black Snow.

Ramo’s book launch will be accompanied by appearances at the Melbourne Writers Festival, where he will lead two First Nations-led events. The festival will also feature journalist David Marr’s Killing for Country, which examines the dark history of the Queensland Native Police.

Human? promises to be a thought-provoking and challenging read, confronting readers with uncomfortable truths about Australia’s past and present. As Ramo states, “If I am not budging up against what people don’t want to hear, then I’m probably not being honest.”

Human? will be released on Tuesday, offering readers an opportunity to engage with Ramo’s bold vision for Australia’s future.

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Source: https://nit.com.au/28-04-2024/11082/rapper-ziggy-ramo-makes-history-with-new-book-human-a-lie-that-has-been-killing-us-since-1788

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