The ‘Rock People’ project aims to bring awareness to preserve indigenous culture and language and highlight the significant loss it faces as one its language groups in the Adnyamathana community in the Flinders Rangers is threatened.
There are only a few Adnyamathanha community members who are fluent speakers of this language and highly knowledgeable of the culture, history and many stories of the past. If this information isn’t recorded and passed on over the next 20-30 years it will be lost, and the next generation of indigenous and non indigenous Australians will know nothing about these incredible people, what they went through and the many stories they have to tell.
This project has a number of objectives that ultimately aim to collect the stories and the in depth knowledge of the Adnyamathanha community and promote collaboration and respect between non-indigenous and indigenous people throughout its implementation.
Through the art form of film and wet-plate photography, this project will capture the members of the Adnyamathanha community and document the stories they have to tell.
Wet plate photography is a traditional photographic process that creates photographs onto a glass plate using raw chemistry and the hand of an artist. Working with an antiquated process such as wet-plate photography speaks to the importance of keeping these traditional processes alive and hold onto something that is fragile, unique, one of a kind.
It is significant that the project not only values the fragility of the photograph but also the subjects of the image, in this case the Adnyamathanha community members.
Filming this project will document the stories and knowledge of the Adnyamathanha culture and promote and inspire pride amongst Adnyamathanha and other indigenous people, especially the younger generation.
By Renate Rienmueller