A long time ago in the stringy bark forests around Gapuwiyak a mokuy (ancestral trickster spirit) named Murayana Ganbulapula Yangbulu Burrulurrpulu made a special sound with his dhadhalal (didgeridoo). Echoing across the land, signalling back and forth, this sound moved the people. It reached all the clans, drawing everyone together for ceremony.
In this exhibition the dhadhalal calls to people and places far beyond Arnhem Land. No matter if you’re European, Chinese, Tahitian, African, Indian, Aboriginal … this sound can connect us all together. Just like mobile phones!
Modern Yolŋu live in a very different world to that of the old people. Phones are everywhere. We use them out hunting, even in ceremonies. We watch YouTube, search Google, send photos, texts and video calls; we organise banking, holidays and rituals, all through the phone. With the phones we also create new kinds of gamunungu (art) and bungul (dance).
We curated this exhibition to share Yolŋu life. We want to show that our young people are smart. They can use phones to make us laugh—and also to strengthen kinship and culture.
We named our show Gapuwiyak Calling because now we’re calling you through our phones, calling so you can connect to us. We’re grabbing hold of new possibilities using these little things. Maybe you’ll answer us?
Miyarrka Media Curators:
James Bangaliwuy Ganambarr
Warren Balpatji Gurruwiwi
Enid Gurungulmiwuy Wunungmurra
Jennifer Bununuk Deger Wunungmurra
Meredith Balanydjarrk Wunungmurrua
Paul Gurrumuruwuy Wunungmurra
Evan Birrkbirrk Wyatt Wanambi
Kayleen Djingadjingawuy Wanambi
Fiona Yangathu Wanambi
Anthropology Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 15 March – 15 August 2014.
Margaret Mead Film Festival, American Museum of Natural History, New York City. 23-26 October 2014.
The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, 17 September – November 2015.
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