Group hugs, bear hugs, hugs from little kids being edged closer by their thoughtful mums: Jasirah Bin-Hitam received countless hugs on Cottesloe Beach, all in the name of reconciliation.
Can you believe only 13 per cent of people have reportedly said they’d trust an indigenous or Torres Strait Islander person? Thirteen per cent.
That’s the sad statistic from the Australian Reconciliation Barometer from 2012, which flashes during a video created by the ICEA Foundation, in collaboration with OK- White Lane Media and Perth artist Peter Sharp, who created the viral Transperth train party video.
This time around, the production features Kimberley teenager, Jasirah Bin-Hitam, standing blindfolded in the middle of the crowded beach with a sign that says, “I trust you. Do you trust me? Let’s hug.”
At first, you can see people’s apprehension, perhaps wondering what this young Aboriginal woman is doing with a blindfold on asking for hugs. But the crowd of beachgoers seemed to quickly warm up to the idea and stepped forward to give Bin-Hitam a thoughtful embrace. “You’re so brave,” one woman says. “Good on you!” says another.
And before too long, Bin-Hitam had received more than 100 hugs from strangers passing by.
“It was really emotional having total strangers come up and hug me,” Bin-Hitam said of the experience to the West Australian.
Bin-Hitam says she hopes to change such a disempowering statistic, and this video is a great first step. Grab a box of tissues and watch the video yourself.
Video: Peter Sharp/YouTube