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Ngapartji Ngapartji was a Big hART project which was based out of Alice Springs between 2004-2010 and I worked on from 2006 until the completion, if occurrences like Ngapartji Ngapartji are ever really over. The project was a massive learning incline for myself, and I think for all involved, Anangu and piranpa (whitefellas). That was the idea I guess.
We had many bold adventures around the country, and around our hearts and minds telling and being a story at once. Not just one story but myriad narratives around language and cultural loss, identity, belonging, atomic bombs and unacceptable governance, fallout, understanding, tjukurpa, ngura, country, music, death and violence, fear and fearlessness, shame and wholeness. We made heaps of mistakes and also many excellent moves. We laughed a lot and shed buckets of tears. I personally spent a lot of the time singing.
The project aimed to shift the perception of young indigenous people in the local community and nationally, give some metaphorical and real amplification for a language rarely heard outside of central Australia (on behalf of all rarely or never again heard languages in Australia), it was an experiment in cross cultural collaboration and a responsive, expansive and often intangible concept which meant as many different things as there were people involved.
The project produced many things including; an online Pitjantjatjara language learning website comprised of videos made by and with young people from a range of communities and town camps; Two bilingual touring theatre works, which were performed at Sydney Opera House, The Dreaming Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Perth Festival, Canberra Theatre Centre and at Australia House, London and ICAF, Rotterdam and in the creekbed in Pukatja; A language driven literacy and crime prevention program; Six albums and various other recordings in Ernabella and surrounds including desert surf reggae, gospel, and experimental music, traditional inma and story telling; An award winning documentary Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji which premiered on ABC TV in 2010 and a campaign to establish a national indigenous languages policy to support both language maintenance and revival – which was announced at Garma Festival in 2009. The ongoing languages campaign in Australia continues to be supported by Big hART.
The project involved too many people to name here but a special mention to the power triangle of Alex Kelly, Trevor Jamieson and Scott Rankin should be made. For more information on all of it, check out the archived project website.

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Nothing Rhymes With Ngapartji