Knowledge must travel

L-R: Paul Fletcher, Tiriki Onus, me (Lisa Roberts) at the Wilin Centre, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.

In Melbourne I talk with Yorta Yorta man Tirriki Onus and animator Paul Fletcher, about how vessels may be made for travelling, experiencing, expressing, and interacting with Whale Dreaming stories between Antarctica and Australia. Tiriki talks about layers of knowledge flowing through through space and time. Images start to form between us, of physical objects that project animations on country, and allow country to speak back, and ‘watery’ digital interfaces for children to interact virtually, with the physical journeys we’ll make as we follow the Whale.

Tiriki: “…So I love this whole metaphor – this idea of travel and the fact that it’s – if we’re talking about migratory patterns – it’s kind of linear but it’s not, as well. It’s like a wonderful Ven diagram where everything overlaps and stories change, you know, the thing I love about, even though it’s the most linguistically diverse part of Australia, if you travel down to the Murray river, every time we come to a new language group there’s a new name for that river. There’s also a new creation story for that river. And that was our highway; we travelled up and down that thing all the time. But we’re also able to be well-informed diplomats who could move from country to county, from language to language, and acknowledge all those stories happening in the same place, and with that same river. “

Back in Sydney I read:
P. 26. Gwion Gwion Secret and Sacred Pathways. Ed. Jeff Doring. Pub. Konemann, 2000:

Knowledge must travel. When munnunburra of the Ngarinyin Aboriginal Corporation decided to reveal their ancestral association with Gwion art, and initiated the Pathways Project recordings in 1992, they acted to reveal something of the secret pathways (dulwan mamaa) to the origins of their history.

…As laws begin from birth, secrets act as seeds of knowledge at each stage of learning. Wunan laws, infused with secrets, stimulate moral development and focus religious experience. Ngarinyin education involves walking through the bush, directly learning from experience and respecting evidence rich with secrets located on their dulwan nimindi (pathways of knowledge). But we should never intrude where we are not invited. So we follow by invitation, walking behind them, guided and informed ….
Posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2019