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Wiru! Progress report!

April 11th 2014:
With raw footage for several stories ‘in the can’ but incomplete, filming was interrupted during our trip in 2012. Since that point one of our elders has passed away – however when we were last with him he had recorded a powerful message for the future.

A certain well-known cult with a branch in Alice Springs is attempting to infiltrate many remote Aboriginal communities. The members of that cult with whom we had the displeasure of confrontation reveal by their practices and their actions that their respect for Tjukurpa is virtually non-existent.

We did not have either the financial or the emotional resource at that point to continue but have recently been urged by senior Pitjantjatjara elders to return to APY Lands and resume filming as soon as possible.

2014-09-07
A terrible motor accident took the life of senior elder (Kunmanara) of Ngarutjara. Everyone terribly distressed. A very well known man so this sadness is very widespread. Many people sending messages across Australia; many tears shed. Even in his mid eighties he was full of energy, enthusiasm and humour.

The Land Rover hadn’t been driven for nearly a year, in need of a new turbo and exhaust manifold. A friend loaned us the money and these were fitted by Brouss the day before travelling to the Lands in early October.

The memorial, funeral and burial services were attended by hundreds of folk from all over Australia and countless messages of warm tribute from many who couldn’t attend were read aloud at the services. Some people rang in and spoke their messages via mobile phones held up to the microphone. What a sorry time – but many lovely memories were also shared and Gordon reminded us frequently that we should bring out our good stories and find reason to laugh, even amongst our sorrow and tears.

My late nephew’s burial service at Ngarutjara was somewhat spoiled by white police: some belligerent, swaggering, gun-toting. Few seemed even remotely interested in the service: shamefully disrespectful. I understand complaints have been lodged. Thankfully though, Anangu attention was given to the very specific burial instructions Kunmanara had given on film in 2012.

In his closing comments on that film he had also made the unusual request that the film should ultimately be made available “on computer and the internet” (for education of the public). The date of its release is of course subject to protocol.

After Kunmanara’s funeral Gordon Ingkatji came south with us to Victoria for several weeks and attended many events including God’s Squad Christian Motorcycle Club’s 42nd anniversary national run to Newcastle (NSW) where he addressed hundreds of members. He was great!

2014-11-28
Plans well underway.. 5th December Brouss to return to the Lands till maybe late January. Gordon Ingkatji is laying out a busy itinerary which also includes ceremony for Kunmanara at Ngarutjara, major community inma at Pipalyatjara, and training at a certain Tjukurpa site some 400km west of the corner country where South Australia and the Northern Territory meet Western Australia. Roll on summer!

Brouss lost his Sony remote bluetooth camera microphone somewhere in Pukatja. This is not good as sound quality will be poor until it can be replaced :(

Support we would really appreciate:
Codan HF ‘flying doctor’ radio not working. Can anyone help?
A new single swag instead of bundles of blankets for accompanying elders.
The Land Rover would benefit from adding adjustable airbags to the rear suspension :)
Money for diesel fuel is always essential!

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Over the years we've sat with elders and with people in most of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara communities, listened and shared stories, and felt wonderfully secure in this country. As we've all grown older we've been shattered by every casualty resulting from the relentless infiltration by white culture's more difficult components, and by how hard it is for so many young people to survive, let alone thrive when away from their communities. 

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