Past events

Christmas Birrimbirr
Thursday 03 July 2014, 06:30pm
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Upstairs @ the RAI, Thursday, 3rd July 2014, 6.30 pm

Post-cinematic Ethnography: Miyarrka Media's Christmas Birrimbirr (Christmas Spirit)

Anthropologist and filmmaker, Jennifer Deger, will show and discuss recent experiments with multi-screen installation in galleries and museums.

Collaboratively produced by a team of Aboriginal and non-Indigenous performers and filmmakers in Australia’s North East Arnhem Land, Christmas Birrimbirr opens new spaces between art, ethnography and ritual.  

Made specifically as an experiment with “sharing feeling” across cultures, this immersive installation explores the power of photographs, film and shared rites to bring forth, and make palpable, ancestral presence.  

Christmas Birribimbirr is currently being prepared for exhibition as part of the major re-opening of the Mosegaard Museum in Aarhus in October 2014.  The central feature will be a 39-minute video loop synched over three large screens installed alongside a series of photographs and smaller screens, bark painting and other sculptural elements.  In this presentation Dr Deger will screen a compilation of elements of the exhibition and discuss the conceptual, aesthetic and design challenges and opportunities inherent in installation as ethnography.
Miyarrka Media is a new media arts collective founded in 2009 by Paul Gurrumuruwuy, Jennifer Deger, Fiona Yangathu and David Mackenzie, based in the community of Gapuwiyak in north Australia. Miyarrka Media uses media to creatively respond to contemporary Yolngu concerns and in the process, to open up new possibilities and spaces for cultural expression and exhibition.  It operates under the guidance of senior Yolngu leaders, and is housed in the Culture and Arts Centre in Gapuwiyak.

Jennifer Deger has worked with Yolngu on experimental media and art for almost twenty years She has published widely on experimental ethnographic methods, Yolngu aesthetics and indigenous media.  Her book Shimmering Screens: Making Media in an Aboriginal Community was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2006.

The event is free, but please book at

Location 3