Deaths in Custody: When Will It Stop?

One of Aboriginal artist Danny Eastwood’s first political cartoons, for the Koori Mail in 1992, was a response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. ‘When will it stop?’ Eastwood implored in the cartoon’s title. Almost 500 Indigenous people have died in custody in the three decades since, and Eastwood has had to repeatedly ask this question.

Danny Eastwood is a recognised elder, descended on his mother’s side from the Ngemba people of western New South Wales. He has spent the past 30 years living on Dharug country in Western Sydney. He began cartooning for the Koori Mail at the start of 1992 and was the first Aboriginal man to have work regularly published in a national newspaper. In addition to his long-running ‘Eastwood Comment’ editorial cartoon, he is a practising artist and works on large public art commissions. In 2008 he won the Parliament of New South Wales Indigenous Art Prize.

This cartoon is presented as part of an ongoing Behind the Lines series, showing historical works from MoAD’s cartoon collection and private archives.