Back to the future: Warlpiri encounters with drawings, country and others in the digital age

Hinkson, Melinda 2013, Back to the future: Warlpiri encounters with drawings, country and others in the digital age, Culture, theory and critique, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 301-317, doi: 10.1080/14735784.2013.811888.

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Title Back to the future: Warlpiri encounters with drawings, country and others in the digital age
Author(s) Hinkson, MelindaORCID iD for Hinkson, Melinda
Journal name Culture, theory and critique
Volume number 54
Issue number 3
Start page 301
End page 317
Total pages 16
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1473-5784
Keyword(s) digital culture
Aboriginal Australia
Summary Since the early 1900s, Warlpiri people living in the central desert region of Australia have experienced an intense process of adaption to the changing circumstances of postcolonial life. From the earliest days, their encounters with kardiya, non-Aboriginal people, have been mediated by diverse visual technologies that have, over time, become integral to the ways Warlpiri orient themselves to each other and their wider world. In this paper I trace the key elements of the complex visual environment that has emerged from this history of mediation. The central part of the paper considers events around the repatriation to Warlpiri communities in 2011 of a collection of drawings made in the 1950s by their forebears.In responses to a medium that once was new but now is old, several points of interest emerge, among them a clear sense of a hierarchy of value Warlpiri apply to modes of visual communication. In the context of the return of the drawings, the significance Warlpiri ascribe to other visual media comes to the fore. I consider some of the ways visual forms are deployed in support of public projections of cultural identity on the one hand and everyday modes of expression and address on the other. The paper’s central argument is that contemporary Warlpiri attitudes to images – whether they be drawn, painted or broadcast – reveal the complex postcolonial workings of mimetic desire.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/14735784.2013.811888
Indigenous content on
Field of Research 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Socio Economic Objective 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
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