Anzac Day and art: challenging Australia’s cherished day

Anzac art serves as a comfort, celebration, acknowledgment and interrogation of one of Australia’s most valued holidays.
Peter Weir's 1981 film Gallipoli is 'perhaps the single most influential text on Anzac'. image: Associated R&R Films. Image is two young white actors dressed as diggers in on the fields of Gallipoli during the First World War.

The arts and Anzac Day are inextricably linked. The day is nurtured as a bastion of Australian culture and identity, manifesting in diverse art forms that commemorate and subvert notions of Australians at war. As a practice, art can also give meaning to post-war recovery. In the 21st century, Anzac art can also be a powerful leverage point to uncover post-colonial histories. That may feature Indigenous Australians or the queer community in war or even as a cultural bridge between nations in contemporary diplomacy. 

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David Burton is a writer from Meanjin, Brisbane. David also works as a playwright, director and author. He is the playwright of over 30 professionally produced plays. He holds a Doctorate in the Creative Industries.