Miyarrka Media is an arts collective based in the Yolngu community of Gapuwiyak in northern Australia. Using mobile phones, digital collage and multimodal installation, the collective has pioneered a new kind shared anthropology—or what they call ‘yuta anthropology’—drawing on a Yolngu appreciation of the relational power of sound and images to create new forms of intergenerational and intercultural connection.
Miyarrka Media was founded in 2009 by Paul Gurrumruwuy, Fiona Yangathu, Jennifer Deger and David Mackenzie in order to facilitate community-based art and curatorial experiments. From the outset, the collective took energy and inspiration from everyday community life. Yolngu aesthetics and socials values determined the form and content of each project. Kin connections shaped the team. After Yangathu’s death, Gurrumruuwuy and Deger continued working together, drawing in a new generation of collaborators including Enid Guruŋulmiwuy, Warren Balpatji, Meredith Balanydjarrk, James Ganambarr, Kayleen Djingadjingawuy, Oliver Lanzenberg and Santiago Carrasquilla.
Led by Dhalwaŋu elder Paul Gurrumuruwuy and visual anthropologist Jennifer Deger, Miyarrka Media have exhibited in the United States, Europe, Australia and Taiwan. Their works include the award-winning films Ringtone (2014)and Manapanmirr, in Christmas Spirit (2012),and the exhibitions Christmas Birrimbirr (2011), Gapuwiyak Calling (2014)and Warwuyu (Worry) (2018).
Miyarrka Media elaborate their vision for yuta (new) anthropology in their book Phone & Spear: a Yuta Anthropology (Goldsmiths Press, 2019). Using colour, pattern, and remixed ‘selfie’ photography they have created a multi-voiced and multi-sensuous riff on the immanent relationality materialised by mobile phones; an image-driven book explicitly designed to bring once distant worlds into relationship.
Dhäkay-ŋänhawuy rom means ‘sharing feelings’. Or maybe we could call it ‘the law of feelings’… What I’m talking about is that experience of connection that you can get through feelings. That’s what we are doing here. Sharing feeling from inside us and giving them to you. So you can feel and you can know.