Gularri: that brings unity

Deger, Jennifer (2011) Gularri: that brings unity. [Video]

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Abstract

Gularri: That Brings Unity is a Yolngu directed film produced by Deger as part of her collaborative association with Warrkwarrkpuyngu Yolngu Media. The 2011 version builds on the original footage shot and edited in 2007, adding additional footage and a new translation generated as part of Deger's ARC research project on Yolngu digital futures. The film follows the flow of the Yirritja clan waters known as Gularri as it tracks across various clan lands from Bunggurrinydji in Mitchell Ranges to Matchambar in the Wessel Islands. Tracking a path at once poetic and political, the film enacts a meta-discourse of connectivity in both form and content, activating a deep and layered story of ancestral interconnection and contemporary biography that visible to Yolngu viewers with sufficient knowledge to enter the flow themselves.

Research Statement

Research Background In 2007, the film, Gularri: That Brings Unity (produced in 1997 as part of Deger's PhD research), became the basis for a new project instigated by Yolngu from the community of Gapuwiyak, concerned that a key site and associated clan leaders had been omitted from not the original film. Over the past ten years this omission had on-going social and political implications. The key research question became how the original film might be re-shot and re-structured in ways that performatively addressed the social schisms caused by the earlier film.
Research Contribution Conceived and directed by the surviving Yolngu collaborators along with selected ritual managers, Gularri: that brings unity (2011), tracks a path at once poetic and political. Yolngu filmmakers reflexively adapted local narrative forms to suit the public and future-orientated vectors of video circulation, enacting a meta-discourse of connectivity in both form and content. Subtle omissions are as significant as what is said and shown. Giving audiences rare access to profoundly Yolngu ways of seeing and managing shared knowledge, the film also shows how collaborative anthropological research can produce texts of enduring—but also changing—social significance to source communities.
Research Significance The film has stimulated discussions in online resources such as Issues in Documentary, Aboriginal Art & Culture, an American Eye and inMediaRes. Used for teaching by international and national scholars in the fields of art, documentary and Indigenous studies, it is currently the basis of a new project undertaken by Yolngu researchers at Charles Darwin University.
Item ID: 35022
Item Type: Video
Keywords: Indigenous media, Yolngu video, ethnographic film
Additional Information:

Cultural Statement: Up until recently this film has not been available for sale because of concerns regarding the death of many key figures in the film. This decision is being revised and we are looking into potential distribution beyond the current arrangement with Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation.

Media of Output: Video
Related URLs:
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Macquarie University Research Fellowship
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 06:13
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 30%
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