Bush Mechanics are real outback geeks

Bush MechanicsThe mistake that many people make about geekiness is thinking that it’s about computers. It’s not. It’s about thinking about something around you; delving deeply into it; enthusiastically exploring it. And that’s why a group of Aboriginal guys in the deep outback keeping their vehicles running on intuition, cleverness, and whatever materials they find to hand are true geeks.

In 2001, there was a great series on ABC TV called Bush Mechanics. It followed a bunch of indigenous mechanics from the Walpiri community of the small town of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory, living and driving across the vast red outback and keeping their cars running in any way they could. The series has inspired a short animated film from PAW Media, the not-for-profit organisation representing the Walpiri people. The animated film is almost complete but they are now running a Pozible campaign to fund the final part.

While they’ve already reached their funding goal this is a fundamentally good project to back. While this does look to be, as advertised, ‘an animated film true to the spirit of the original TV show’ it’s necessarily a different beast. I loved  Bush Mechanics for the way it portrayed ingenious solutions to problems we all face – don’t change the tire, fill it with grass. The animation, by virtue of not being ‘real’ cannot be that – but if the trailer is anything to go by it just looks truly entertaining. Even though they have reached their funding goal there are a few days left to contribute to this deeply worthwhile geeky project.

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