The Bawaka Collective:Yolŋu women’s keening of songspirals: centring Indigenous understandings to nourish and share people-as-place

A/Prof Sarah Wright, A/Prof Sandie Suchet-Pearson (Macquarie University), A/Prof Kate Lloyd (Macquarie University), Laklak Burarrwanga, Ritjilili Ganambarr, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr Stubbs, Banbapuy Ganambarr, Djawundil Maymuru

This long-term, award-winning collaboration with Yolŋu Elders (since 2006) from Bawaka in NE Arnhem Land, works to centre Yolŋu ontologies of connection. It is funded by an ARC Discovery Project, 2019 to 2021.

Our current project aims to extend a close collaborative relationship with Yolŋu researchers to nourish and, where appropriate, share Indigenous and Country-led understandings of women’s keening of songspirals. The project’s unique spiral-based framework intends to extend ideas of songlines to generate new knowledge which centres Yolŋu women’s conceptions of place and time. Intended outcomes are Indigenous and non-Indigenous intergenerational and intercultural applied learnings. This should provide the benefit of ensuring keening of songspirals is not lost, helping to fulfil songspirals' potential to enrich and awaken Country, and support deep, healthy relationships between people and place in the context of disruptive environmental change.

http://bawakacollective.com/

Publications: 

Bawaka Country including Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr, B, Maymuru, D, Wright, S, Lloyd K, and Suchet-Pearson, S (forthcoming) ‘We sing the land: researching for, with and as Country in North East Arnhem Land, Australia’. In Kindon, S, Pain, R and Kesby, M (eds) Critically Engaging Participatory Action Research: Praxis, Paradox, Potential Routledge, London. Accepted 25.7.2019.

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson, S, Lloyd, K, Wright, S, Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr B and Maymuru, D (forthcoming) ‘Ending with the wind, crying the dawn’. In Van Dooren, T and Chrulew, M (eds) KIN: Thinking with Deborah Bird Rose, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Accepted 27.9.2019.

Bawaka Country including Wright, S, Suchet-Pearson, S. Lloyd, K, Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr, B, Maymuru, D and Graham, M. (2018) ‘Everything is love: Mobilising knowledges, identities, and places as Bawaka’. In Nicole Gombay and Marcela Palomino-Schalscha (eds) Indigenous Places and Colonial Spaces, Routledge, London, pp. 51-71.

Bawaka Country including Lloyd K, Wright SL, Suchet-Pearson S, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Ganambarr B, Maymuru D, Hodge P, (2018) ‘Meeting across ontologies: Grappling with an ethics of care in our human-more-than-human collaborative work’. Invited contribution to Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments, edited by Jane Haladay and Scott Hicks, Michigan State University Press, East Lansing. 219-243.

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson S, Wright SL, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Ganambarr B, Maymuru D, Sweeney J, (2017) ‘Co-becoming time/s: time/s-as-telling-as-time/s’. Invited contribution for Experiments with Methods in Nature-Culture-History Research edited by Jocelyn Thorpe, Stephanie Rutherford and L. Anders Sandberg, Routledge, London. 81-92.

Suchet-Pearson S, Wright SL, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Hodge P, (2013) ‘Footprints across the Beach: Beyond Researcher-Centered Methodologies’, A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research, Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR 21-40

Journal articles

Bawaka Country including Mitchell, A., Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., Lloyd, K., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B., Maymuru, D. (forthcoming). Dukarr lakarama: Listening to Guwak, Talking Back to Space Colonization. Political Geography.

Todd, Z, Mitchell, A, Rubis, J., Theriault, N, Bawaka Country and Hernandez, K (accepted) The Creatures Collective: Manifestings. Environment and Planning E (Solicited manuscript).

Wright, S, Suchet-Pearson, S, Lloyd, K, Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B. and Maymuru, D., (2019). Gathering of the Clouds: Attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals. Geoforumhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.017

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson, S, Wright, S, Lloyd, K, Tofa, M, Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr, B & Maymuru, D (2019) Bunbum ga dhä-yutagum: to make it right again, to remake. Social & Cultural Geography, DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2019.1584825.

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson, S, Wright, S, Lloyd, K, Tofa, M, Sweeney, J, Burarrwanga, L Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr, B, and Maymuru, D. (2018) Goŋ Gurtha: Enacting response-abilities as situated co-becoming. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 37(4), 682-702.

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson S, Wright SL, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Whitehead B, Maymuru D, Tofa, M (2017) ‘Meaningful tourist transformations with Bawaka Country’, Tourist Studies. 17(4):443-467. Key output from DP140100290, CI 2014-2017.

Bawaka Country including Wright S, Suchet-Pearson S, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr- Stubbs M, Whitehead B, Maymuru D, Sweeney J (2016) Co-becoming Bawaka: Towards an emergent understanding of place/space, Progress in Human Geography, 40(4): 455-475.

Bawaka Country including Lloyd K, Wright SL, Suchet-Pearson S, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Whitehead B, Maymuru D (2016) ‘Morrku mangawu – Knowledge on the Land: mobilising Yolŋu mathematics from Bawaka, north east Arnhem Land, to reveal the situatedness of all knowledges’, Humanities 5(3), 61. doi:10.3390/h5030061. Key output from DP140100290, CI 2014-2017.

Bawaka Country including, Wright, SL, Suchet-Pearson, S, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Whitehead B, Maymuru D (2016) ‘The politics of ontology and ontological politics’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 6(1), 23-27. Key output from DP140100290, CI 2014-2017.

Bawaka Country including Wright, SL, Lloyd K, Suchet-Pearson S, Tofa M, Rowland C, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr M, Ganambarr B, and Maymuru D (2015) ‘Transforming tourists and ‘culturalising commerce’: Indigenous tourism at Bawaka in northern Australia’, The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 6(4), doi: 10.18584/iipj.2015.6.4.6. Key output from DP140100290, CI 2014-2017.

Fisher K, Williams M, FitzHerbert S, Instone L, Duffy M, Wright SL, Suchet-Pearson S, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Ganambarr B, Maymuru D, Country B, (2015) ‘Writing difference differently’, New Zealand Geographer 71 18–33.

Bawaka Country including Wright SL, Suchet-Pearson S, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, Ganambarr R, Ganambarr-Stubbs M, Ganambarr B, Maymuru D (2015) ‘Working with and learning from Country: decentring human author-ity’, Cultural Geographies 22(2), 269-283. Key output from DP140100290, CI 2014-2017.

Bawaka Country including Suchet-Pearson S, Wright SL, Lloyd K, Burarrwanga L, (2013) ‘Caring as Country: Towards an ontology of co-becoming in natural resource management’, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 54 185-197.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.