• Yolngu man Ishmael Marika is passionate about preserving culture through multimedia (NITV)Source: NITV
A Yolngu filmmaker and director in Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land, says the power of old footage to tell new stories cannot be underestimated ahead of the expansion of his nation’s Mulka Project.
By
Natalie Ahmat

Source:
NITV News
4 Aug 2015 - 4:47 PM  UPDATED 5 Aug 2015 - 10:28 AM

Speaking to NITV News on the sidelines of the Indigenous culture and politics Garma Festival, Ishmael Marika said archived multimedia could still produce fresh stories. 

His comments were made ahead of the opening of a new office of the Mulka Project - a multimedia archive for Yolngu people that retrieves film, sound and images that have been taken away to museums and academies in other parts of the world. It also works to train the current generation of Yolngu people to record their stories for themselves and the future. 

"While there are a few young ones learning how to be a strong leader and cultural man…a few others are doing their own business, so I'm a bit worried"

But he said he was concerned for the future of the current generation of Yolngu people.

"I'm worried about the young ones, the young kids growing up," he told NITV News. "Because [while] there are a few young ones learning how to be a strong leader and cultural man…a few others are doing their own business, so I’m a bit worried."

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The Mulka Project has been spending this year travelling around the country to bring back multimedia that belongs in its Yolngu homeland.

"That's why we’ve got this kept for the future so they can learn," he said. "I went through London museums, Adelaide, Brisbane…Sydney, checking out collections from the past [that]."

The archives contain video, audio and images including culturally important material such as sacred songlines that form a core part of Yolngu spirituality.