Connecting communities & the environment through media: doing, saying & seeing along traditional Indigenous knowledge revival pathways

Standley, Peta-Marie, Bidwell, Nicola J., George Snr, Tommy, Steffensen, Victor, and Gothe, Jacqueline (2009) Connecting communities & the environment through media: doing, saying & seeing along traditional Indigenous knowledge revival pathways. 3C Media Journal of Community, Citizen’s & Third Sector Media & Communication , 5. pp. 9-27.

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Abstract

With the proliferation of global information and communications technologies (ICT), the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations. Yet, from ecological and social perspectives, connecting people and communities to their immediate environment is now more urgent than ever. In this paper we show how an Indigenous led initiative reaches across geographical and cultural gulfs by using digital media in ways that are profoundly embedded in the values associated with specific places. We refer to a grass-roots Indigenous created and led organization that with support from numerous partnerships across Australia has for many years used media to convey cultural and environmental values. The methodology of Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TRKP), co-created according to the ancient knowledge system of the Kuku Thaypan Traditional Owner Elders in Cape York Peninsula, illustrates the way media can be used to traverse disciplinary boundaries and connect both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to places. We start by describing how the simple act of picking up a camera to film this ancient knowledge system led to the creation of Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP). Then, we explain how the methods of using various media are anchored in the Indigenous sense of country and interconnectedness, embedded in the spiritual, philosophical and ideological perspectives of Traditional Knowledge. We outline processes that scaffold these methods, such as the way media is controlled by participating Indigenous communities and incorporated into practice and research in environmental management. This leads us to discussing some of the roles of different media in reflecting on practices, within and between communities, and translating and communicating across worldviews. We conclude by indicating how using media can connect people to place and inspire their reflection upon the mediation by media in these connections. We propose this provides new insights for improving media tools, training methods and approaches to solution making to issues of environmental, social and economic concern.

Item ID: 10443
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1832 – 6161
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2010 23:22
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication @ 100%
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