ART EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF LANGUAGE
The Still in my Mind exhibition at the University of Queensland Art Museum draws its inspiration from an historic Indigenous event known as the Wave Hill Walk Off. The exhibition contains considerable audio visual elements, which places the Gurindji people and their language at centre stage.
Some of the artwork is in response to the oral accounts of Gurindji history documented by elders with Erika Charola and CoEDL CI Felicity Meakins in the book Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country. There is also extensive photographic material, textile objects, loans from institutions and repatriated cultural material giving a multi-platform representation of Gurindji identity and experience.
Still in my Mind runs until 29 October 2017.
ACCENT APP FOR SYDNEYSIDERS
The ‘This is a Voice’ exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney was opened on 10 August 2017, featuring the Sydney Speaks app, developed by CI Catherine Travis, RA Cale Johnstone and postdoc James Grama, in collaboration with MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and Australian Museum), and with the support of CI Caroline Jones and Barbara Horvath (Sydney University).
The app is an interactive tool, which allows users to hear clips of speakers and match them with social characteristics (occupation, region, ethnicity and age). “The public are invited to listen to a series of speakers and try to match them to occupations, and after that match a new series of speakers to certain age groups and so on,” said Professor Travis. “On opening night, we enjoyed watching members of the public use the app and hope that it makes them more aware of variation in Australian English, and possibly challenge some of their assumptions. For example, while we might think people who grew up speaking Greek or English in Australia might always sound different, speech patterns may be more strongly influenced by who we interact with on a daily basis (or who we want to sound or be like)."
The exhibition is on at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney from 11 August 2017 to 28 January 2018.
On 2 August 2017, The Science Gallery Melbourne opened its first ever exhibition, on the intriguing topic of blood. Called 'Blood: Attract and Repel’, the exhibition included an interactive map demonstrating the word for blood in over 200 Indigenous Australian languages. The map was created by CoEDL CIs Rachel Nordinger and Nick Thieberger, both also of the Research Unit for indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne.
The map highlights the extraordinary linguistic diversity of Indigenous Australia reflected both in the sheer number of languages across the continent, and in how different they can be. The map toggles between one view showing numerous Indigenous Australian languages and their localities (700+ language names and locations across Australia) and a second view where the word for ‘blood’ is given in over 200 of these languages (40 with accompanying audio).
The exhibition ran from August 2 – September 22 at the Frank Tate Building at the University of Melbourne, in Parkville.
VIRTUAL REALITY DISPLAY
Two CoEDL researchers had their experimental work featured in an exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in 2016.
CI Nick Thieberger and Affiliate Rachel Hendery led the development of virtual and augmented reality displays to share archival language recordings from the Pacific.
These were then incorporated within the 'Memory of the World in Canberra' exhibition. Development of the Virtual Reality experience involved new media artist Andrew Burrell. The displays, which are still operational and continue to be developed, allow users to "fly" from island to island in the Pacific, listening to real archival recordings of speech and song.
The Exhibition ran from 12 November 2016 to 19 March 2017.