Bundjalung language and story will soon light up Lismore Quad to celebrate Reconciliation Week.
Dungarimba Wandarahn (Lismore place of learning) is a major new Australian work by internationally acclaimed digital artist Craig Walsh commissioned by The Lismore Quad. Dungarimba Wandarahn is a spectacular, multi-sensory experience of Bundjalung language, history and story and will occupy all of Lismore’s cultural precinct for four nights next week .
Creative Producer and Quad Placemaking Officer Marisa Snow, says that The Quad wanted to create a powerful and beautiful experience of Bundjalung language and culture that could be enjoyed by all generations and reflected The Quad’s history as a place of learning. ‘The timing of this world premiere to coincide with Reconciliation Week is particularly significant with the recent landmark recognition of Bundjalung Native Title in our region and 2019 being the Year of Indigenous Languages Worldwide.’
Two years in the making, Dungarimba Wandarahn has been created in collaboration with Southern Cross University’s Indigenous School Gnibi Wandarahn and Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar.
Dungarimba Wandarahn is inspired by the stories and recollections of Bundjalung Elder, Aunty Irene Harrington. Irene was one of the first Aboriginal students to attend Lismore High School in the 1950s – now the Lismore Library and Conservatorium of Music in The Quad.
Irene lived on Cubawee mission in South Lismore where she learnt her traditional Widjabul language and then went each day to Lismore High School where she says her language and culture was ‘swept under the carpet’.
Irene’s story, like Bundjalung languages, is one of resilience and survival. Protection and revival of Indigenous language is a passion of Aunty Irene’s and her family. She was one of a group of Widjabul Elders who were responsible for passing Australia’s first Indigenous Languages Bill through the State Parliament in 2017.
Students and staff from Southern Cross University’s Indigenous School Gnibi Wandarhan and School of Arts and Social Sciences have collaborated on researching, producing and devising Dungarimba Wandarahn.
Professor Norm Sheehan, Director of Gnibi Wandarahn at Southern Cross University says the project depicts indigenous people’s reconnection through language to the future. ‘Aunty Irene’s life shows us the power and beauty of connection as it flows through this work.’
Dungarimba Wandarahn (Lismore place of learning)
Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 May, 6pm-9pm (production plays on a continuous loop)
Opening Ceremony 6pm Thursday May 23
The Quad, 110 Magellan Street, Lismore
More information: www.lismorequad.org.au