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Language, Art and Multimedia at Utopia

Throughout 2009, elders and senior knowledge holders have been getting together with young people and lecturers at Arlparra Study Centre, to share skills and knowledge.

Elders and young people are enrolled in units from Certificates in Own Language Work, ATSI Cultural Arts and Crafts and Creative Industries (Media).

Activities include story-telling and recording, reading and writing in Anmatyerr and Alyawarr, batik making, film making and tal-tal mpwareyel (doll making). Some of the stories were made into animations using plasticine for the models or paper cutouts and drawings.

The tal-tal-rnem (dolls) also starred in the animations. There are atham-areny (spirit) dolls; animal and bird dolls including inap (echidna), arengk (dog), ilkwert (perentie), arlewatyerr (goanna), arrwengerrp (bush turkey), iylpwerr (spirit bird), artetyerretyerr (willie wagtail) dolls and even apeng (Kurrajong tree) dolls and ngkwepey (termite mound) dolls!

Young women and young fellas also created animations using their own stories: Tyaw-warl (Going to the show), Disco Love, Angkety Basketball-akert (Basket ball story), Thip akely-rnem (Little birds), Angkety football-akert (football story).

Throughout the workshops, senior women continued to teach and perform awely (traditional singing and dancing) and young people filmed and documented what was going on. Everyone has been having fun; teaching and learning together and finding new ways to keep language and cultural knowledge strong.

This semester we will get ready for a language and art exhibiton in June at Peta Appleyard Gallery. We are also looking forward to a big graduation this year as many students have already completed certificates and there are more to come!

News from the CALL Newsletter
Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics,
A division of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
Volume 2, Issue 1, Feb 2010

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