Wekwek en Wokwok Mijimit Bla Faindim Dismob Stori Blanga Yurapanji: working and walking together to find these stories about Urapunga
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 17:00 by Lillian Tait
Nestled between the Roper and Wilton Rivers of Ngalakgan Country in the Northern Territory of Australia lies Urapunga, a small and lively Aboriginal community predominately comprised of the Duncan family group. Tales of how the Duncans have lived on their land and re-gained ownership over it are celebrated locally. These stories are regionally unique and rich with emotion, multi-dimensional characters and embodied environments. Responding to calls within the community to record these stories, Lillian Tait and Ngalakgan and Ritharrŋu Elders Margaret and Rhonda Duncan co-designed a collaborative and decolonising research project. It involved talking stories, sharing on Country, participatory creative methods, archival research and co-analysis. The stories that emerged will be the heart of a bi-lingual book to be co-authored post-thesis. This thesis documents and reflects on the process of doing this storying research together as part of a cross-cultural collaboration. By mobilising a recuperative storytelling agenda as advocated by Rose (2004) and Margaret, it engages with the way stories build connections between those living, and connect those living with ancestors, future generations and Country, in relationships of belonging, responsibility and care. The thesis demonstrates how nurturing diverse academic/non-academic and more-than human collaborations within research can challenge some of the deep-colonising legacies of academia -- abstract.