This image shows an erosion feature on the north-east side of Uluru. It is known to Anangu as Mala Wati but for most non-Anangu it was often referred to as “The Brain”. And for a fairly obvious reason. It looks like a human face – stripped bare – in profile.
I have tweaked the image in Photoshop to add a political message.
Now you might ask how this image supports “freedom of expression”? Since 1972, Australia has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and further, Australia ratified the ICCPR on August 13, 1980. The Covenant came into force for Australia on November 13, 1980. Article 19 (2) of the Covenant states the following: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” So by publishing this image on my blog I am exercising the freedom of expression given to me under Article 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to “impart information and ideas of all kinds.”
(It should be added here that this original image is possibly in breach of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s “Guidelines for commercial image capture, use and sound recording” as it shows part of the verboten north-east face of Uluru. Well it would be in breach if I was to sell the image for even an amount as miniscule as one dollar. That would be a commercial transaction apparently and not allowed under EPBC Regulation 12.38.)
The Australian Constitution does not include a Bill of Rights, such as those in the United States of America and New Zealand. This is seen as being a weakness of the Constitution and it has often been criticised for its scant protection of rights and freedoms. However in 1992 and 1994, the High Court of Australia found that the Constitution contained an “implied” right to freedom of political communication, in a series of cases including the Australian Capital Television case and the Theophanous case. This was seen as a necessary part of the democratic system created by the Constitution. It is not an equivalent to a freedom of speech but it does protect individuals (and others) against the government trying to limit their political communication. And what exactly is this picture? A piece of political communication, I would firmly suggest.