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Rudd apology inspired the world: will.i.am

Sat Oct 10 03:36:10 EST 2009
Fri Oct 9 16:36:10 UTC 2009

MELBOURNE, Oct 8 AAP - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the stolen generations inspired people around the world, Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am says.

"I salute your prime minister, Prime Minister Rudd, if it wasn't for that I believe there would not have been that wave of conscious shifting happening and I don't think there would be an Obama," the American rapper said on Thursday at the Melbourne opening of reconciliation-inspired art project Nomad Two Worlds.

"I think seeing a potential leader of a country as wonderful as Australia take a stand and do that inspired other world leaders and potential world leaders on what they can do and change to move forward into this whole new era with its technology and nationless collaboration happening.

"The future leaders of the world are breaking down the walls of what once held us back in the past.

"I really salute and I'm truly very inspired by your prime minister."

Nomad Two Worlds is a collaborative art project by fashion photographer Russell James and indigenous artists including Clifton Bieundurry, which was inspired by the February 2008 apology to the stolen generations.

It was launched in New York recently, with the support of actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness and fashion designer Donna Karan, and is now being shown at The National Gallery of Victoria.

Over many months James travelled to remote parts of northwestern Australia escorted by indigenous elders to photograph sites of great significance to the local people, including burial grounds, gorges, stunning coast lines and desert locations.

These landscape pictures together with photographs of celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Estella Warren, Rachel Roberts and The Black Eyed Peas are overlayed with traditional Aboriginal story.

Will.i.am, who's touring Australia with the Peas, also helped to produce a music film for the project.

Apology (It's Time) features Mr Rudd's apology speech and prominent Australians such as Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Professor Fiona Stanley talking about it.

The producers hope the film will be used in schools around the country to help educate students about reconciliation.

AAP apm