MIC Seminar – Drawing Life: Warlpiri lines on a changing world

Date/Time: Wed 10 Aug / 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: N802, 20 Chancellors Walk


Monash Indigenous Centre Seminar

Drawing Life: Warlpiri lines on a changing world

Assoc Prof Melinda Hinkson
Deakin University

Since their earliest interactions with Europeans, Warlpiri people of Central Australia have taken up a diversity of new media to explore what they value and to communicate their distinctive view of the world. In this paper I reflect upon the process of introducing an important collection of crayon drawings six decades after they were made to the descendants of their makers. Through the prism of drawing and the circumstances of contemporary and historical Warlpiri experience questions are raised about the role of image making in dealing with the turbulence of migration. In what ways might the activity of drawing be understood as a vital space for cross-cultural interaction?

Melinda Hinkson is Associate Professor of Anthropology and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. She has published widely on Warlpiri engagements with visual media, on the work of Australian anthropologist WEH Stanner, on the contested cultural politics of the Northern Territory Intervention, and on the broad field of contemporary cultural attitudes to images. In 2014 she published Remembering the Future: Warlpiri Life through the Prism of Drawing (Aboriginal Studies Press), and curated the exhibition, Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future for the National Museum of Australia. Melinda’s current research explores significant episodes of Warlpiri placemaking activity through the prism of visual cultural production.

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