SBS today launches a new online interactive animation My Grandmother’s Lingo which tells the personal story of Angelina Joshua, a young Aboriginal woman dedicated to preserving her endangered Indigenous culture through language.
This innovative online documentary combines voice-activated gaming technology with unique animations to unlock the chapters in Angelina’s story, and simultaneously raise awareness of Australia’s most important Indigenous issues – language - specifically Marra, a language now spoken by only three people in the remote East Arnhem Land community of Ngukurr where Angelina lives.
Ben Naparstek, SBS Head of Editorial Online & Emerging Platforms, said: "SBS is dedicated to producing innovative multiplatform content that explores Australia’s diverse cultures. My Grandmother’s Lingo is a great example of this – combining distinctive storytelling with interactive digital technology to encourage further understanding of Indigenous language preservation amongst all Australians."
More than 90 per cent of Australia’s Indigenous languages are critically endangered, and it’s predicted that without intervention, Indigenous language knowledge will cease to exist in the next 10 to 30 years.
My Grandmother's Lingo aims to once again put the spotlight on Aboriginal stories, Aboriginal poems and Aboriginal songs - the lifeblood of Australia's Indigenous culture.
Centred around her work at the Ngukurr Language Centre and empowered by her family, Angelina is now fighting to learn and preserve Marra for future generations and spread the knowledge of the language across Australia.
Angelina said: “My grandmother’s language is important, and it’s up to us to keep it alive; to teach it. My grandmother was a very fluent Marra speaker. But a couple of years ago she passed. It was hard losing her – I thought, ‘Where am I going to learn now? This old lady taught us everything in Marra.
“I started working at the Language Centre, and it’s become my responsibility to learn Marra and teach Marra. My hope for the future is that people in the community will be able to speak their own languages.”
Joining Angelina in creating My Grandmother’s Lingo are two other young Indigenous talents: animator and illustrator Jake Duczynski (Gamilaroi) and DJ and musician and Kuren aka Curtis Kennedy (Wiradjuri).
To complement the interactive animation, SBS Learn has produced a schools education pack encouraging teachers and students to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Aimed at years 7+, the pack features engaging classroom activities linked to the Media Arts curriculum and the newly released Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages. The resource is available online HERE at SBS Learn.