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The Town Grew Up Dancing by Wenten Rubuntja with Jenny Green

$40.00 inc. GST

The Town Grew Up Dancing. The Life and Art of Wenten Rubuntja is the author’s story and also the story of Alice Springs, the iconic town in the Northern Territory, in the centre of Australia. This fascinating and innovative book weaves together autobiography and biography in a powerful story of recent First Nations history.  The book features Wenten’s own commentary on his paintings, and photographs in colour and black and white bring his story and Alice Springs’ colourful past vividly to life.

It provides a rare view of events that shaped the life of an Arrernte man who has made a major contribution to the art and politics of his time.  Wenten was a key figure in the land rights movement in Central Australia in the mid-1970s and has since played a lively and formative role as an Aboriginal statesman in his home town of Alice Springs.

Paperback, 212 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by IAD Press




The story is told in Wenten’s own words – in his first language, Arrernte, with accompanying translations, and in Aboriginal English.  The book also includes the voices of many who have been close to Wenten, including members of his own family, and others who have worked with him over the years.

Rubuntja is highly respected for the depth and breadth of his traditional knowledge and for his unique skills as a negotiator. This book reveals the humour and wisdom of an Aboriginal man skilled at engaging in both the traditional and the contemporary worlds. Additional commentary is provided by linguist and artist Jenny Green and historian Tim Rowse.