This series was shot on Pintupi country in WA whilst camping with the traditional owners. Im honoured to be able to share the complex historical journey along with the personal stories of love and connection to country.
The western desert is where the group referred to as the Pintupi Nine, believed to be the last indigenous Australians to come into contact with the outside world following European settlement, were found in October 1984.
Warlimpirrnga, the leader of the 9 made contact with Pinta Pinta & his son Matthew (Pintupi men living in kiwirrkurra) at a soakage one afternoon while hunting kangaroo.
The men thought Warlimpirrnga was a kaditcha (evil spirit) and out of fear fired a shotgun blast into the air making the two parties disperse. On a flat tyre they drove 60km back to Kiwirrkurra. The community tracked down the 9 creating international news.
Yalti & Yukultji were 2 of that mob who were young girls at the time.
The second layer to this series revolves around the consultation of the handback of the largest collection of indigenous artefacts in Australia.
Between the 20s-60s an anthropologist lived and studied with tribes all across the top end…from Cape York to the central desert.
His collection of artefacts, notes, photographs and film is the largest ever recorded in Australia.
Jessie Bartlett (A pintupi woman) & her family began the fight to have these objects returned to country and for access to the photographs and recordings
A team from Melbourne Uni had travelled around the top end consulting the communities on the most appropriate way to hand back. A story which illustrates the complex battle of First Nations people.