Kiwirrkura screeningCamp at Yayayi, 1974.Ian Dunlop filming Shorty Bruno Tjangala. courtesy Es Giddy.

Remembering Yayayi

Remembering Yayayi reflects on a pivotal moment in the history of Pintupi people through a body of archival film.

In 1974 filmmaker Ian Dunlop visited Yayayi, a remote community in Central Australia where Pintupi had recently moved to get away from the difficulties of living at the larger permanent government settlement of Papunya. Dunlop had come to Yayayi to follow up on the lives of people he had photographed ten years earlier as they were leaving their Western Desert homeland. He never made a film with the material he shot there and Yayayi has long since been abandoned.

In 2006 anthropologist Fred Myers – who appears in the Yayayi footage as a young PhD student — took the footage to show it to Pintupi now living on their own land at Kintore and Kiwirrkura. At Kintore, Myers linked up with Marlene Nampitjinpa, a woman who also appears throughout the footage – as a lively young girl. She was delighted to see scenes of her family as they had been living some thirty years earlier.

In this film, Marlene Nampitjinpa and Ian Dunlop share their memories of Yayayi with Fred Myers. In so doing, they look back at the important period of transition that the archival footage represents as Pintupi people struggled to take control of their destiny.

Remembering Yayayi
draws attention to the value such archival material has for contemporary Indigenous people – provoking, as it does, a poignant mixture of pleasure and sadness in reliving the past. Here contradictory feelings sit alongside each other: nostalgia with feelings of loss; an admiration for the strength of the old people with an acknowledgement/witnessing of incipient problems that people continue to face.

marlene 2006_crop2


Margaret Mead Film Festival , American Museum of Natural History, New York. October 24, 2014

National Museum of Australia, Canberra, April 12, 2015

RAI Film Festival, Briston, June 17, 2015

Nordic Anthropological Film Association Festival, Warsaw, September 25, 2015

Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris, November 7, 2015

Available for purchase from Documentary Educational Resources http://www.der.org/films/remembering-yayayi.html


Biddle The Cine-Files » Sentience and Sentimentality in Remembering Yayayi

Hinkson Review_Essay_That_photo_in_my_heart_Reme

2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Sophai Thubauville said:

    Hello, where can I buy a copy of the film?

    Thanks !



  2. I have posted the link to Documentary Educational Resources which is distributing “Remembering Yayayi.” Hope that helps.


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