Marnti Warajanga—a walk together is continuing its tour of the Pilbara, and the Wangka Maya staff is on board! Designed as a joint project between the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), Wangka Maya and photographer Tobias Titz, Marnti Warajanga is a travelling photography exhibition (supported by BHP Billiton and NCITO) over five years in the making. This unique collection features photos of Indigenous Pilbara people along with their comments about pivotal moments in the history of this remote region. Through these words and images, viewers can begin to understand the great—and ongoing—struggle for equality that these individuals have faced.
Marnti Warajanga was first shown at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra. It then travelled to Perth for another urban exhibition before being driven over 1500 kilometres to come home to the Pilbara, with destinations in South Hedland and Newman as well as the remote communities of Warralong, Yandeyarra and Jigalong. In each location, the photos have been up on display for several days while the MoAD staff conduct school programs and invite the whole community to join in.
In addition to hosting the exhibit itself for two days, Wangka Maya has participated in this last stage of the Marnti Warajanga project by sending linguists and language workers to the Warralong and Yandeyarra events. At these events, they brought focus to the value of language diversity by collecting and translating comments in various Pilbara languages. Language worker Nora Cooke even led the Yandeyarra school kids in the ‘Hokey Pokey’ and ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ songs—in her language, Ngarla!
The proud history of the Pilbara is often unknown in other parts of Australia. Through Marnti Warajanga, though, Pilbara people have told the nation their story through their own words.
You can read more about Marnti Warajanga, see some of the photos and read the Pilbara travelling blog at http://moadoph.gov.au/exhibitions/online/marnti-warajanga/index.html.