Christmas with Wawa

Deger, Jennifer, and Marrawakamirr, Susan (2013) Christmas with Wawa. [Creative Work]

[img] Video (MP4) (Video) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only



This work was produced as part of a Macquarie University Research Fellowship in the area of Anthropology and Indigenous Studies as part of on-going research concerned with the production of new anthropological forms and practices based on Yolngu aesthetics and social values. It offers an example of experimental visual media forms created as part of an anthropological investigation into film as sensory/aesthetic medium rather than explanatory—and as a collaborative production with an Indigenous family.

The video was created in response to Yolngu ways of using photography and ritual to amplify sites of loss, love and presence with the creative assistance of Susan Marrawakamirr and the Djalkiringur Wunungmurra family.

Research Statement

Research Background Produced as part of a Macquarie University Research Fellowship this work forms part of on-going research concerned with the production of new anthropological forms in response to alternative social aesthetics and values. It was created as part of a collaborative anthropological investigation into film as sensory/aesthetic medium rather than explanatory.
Research Contribution Innovative in subject matter, style and shared production process, the film performs the ritual as much as it documents it. Through music andpost-production effects, the film highlights the ways Yolngu use sound, light and colour as a means of materially energinsing social relations between the living and the dead, Yolngu and Balanda (non-Aboriginal).
Research Significance This video artwork has screened internationally and nationally in public lectures on Aboriginal art and aesthetics by leading visual anthropologists, Howard Morphy, Jennifer Biddle and Chris Wright. It will be published in the DVD component of Beyond Text: Critical practices and sensory anthropology by Cox, R., Irving, A. and Wright, C. (eds) Manchester University Press (2015). It has been selected for exhibition by Aboriginal curator, Djon Mundine, as part of exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery alongside internationally known new media artists such as Vernon Ah Kee, Bindi Cole, Brenda L. Croft, Destiny Deacon and Christian Thompson. Mundine's decision to display this ethnographically informed work alongside these prominent Aboriginal artists demonstrates that Deger is sucessfully re-claiming a place for visual anthropology as contemporary form of critical and social engagement.
Item ID: 34838
Item Type: Creative Work (Recorded/Rendered Work - Audio/visual recording - NTRO)
Media of Output: SD video
Event Details: Shadowlife Place
Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, VIC
13/4/2013 - 28/7/2013
Keywords: visual anthropology, experimental ethnography, indigenous media
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

This video was reproduced as a peer-reviewed book chapter, accompanied by the following chapter: Deger, Jennifer (2016) Christmas with Wawa: a video experiment with Yolngu aesthetics. In: Cox, Rupert, Irving, Andrew, and Wright, Christopher, (eds.) Beyond Text? Critical practices and sensory anthropology. Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, pp. 163-169, which can be found at the link in the Related URLs field.

Date: created 2007, exhibited 2013.

"Shadowlife" was a touring exhibition, the catalogue represents work in an earlier version of the show, so Christmas with Wawa is not mentioned in this publication. However see Bendigo Art Gallery website for details of its inclusion; also web article by co-curator Natalie King.

Funders: Macquarie University Research Fellowship
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 12:34
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 40%
Downloads: Total: 24
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page