Ngapartji Ngapartji and the gift of kindness
The Ngapartji Ngapartji Project was based in Central Australia and involved language, literacy and arts-based work that led to theatre shows such as Ngapartji Ngapartji and Nyuntu Ngali, an on-line language course in Pitjantjatjara (the ‘Ninti’ site), short films (including language lessons and music clips), musical recordings and CDs, a project website, a documentary screened on the ABC and a ‘Memory Basket’ resources pack for project participants, organizations and other interested groups.
Anangu (Indigenous people from the region), both old and young, joined professional non-Indigenous artists as performers on-stage, behind the camera, on-line, with the microphone and in art galleries. In the process, a range of socially productive ‘outcomes’ were achieved, providing opportunities for Anangu in literacy development, crime prevention work, education, language maintenance and arts practice.
This particular project was instigated by an arts company called Big hART, between 2005 and 2010. Founded in 1992, Big hART has worked directly with over 9000 individuals in over 40 rural and remote communities, using theatre, film, television, paintings, photography, dance, radio and a range of other creative processes to support groups and communities who are struggling with social problems, isolation or other challenges. Typically Big hARTspends between three to five years working in conjunction with a community.
Below are links to:
- A prefacing story, written by Dave Palmer, which gives an insight into a particularly poignant moment from Ngapartji Ngapartji stage show
- A longer academic paper, also written by Dave, which examines the project and what lessons can be learned from the approach it takes
- The Ngapartji Ngapartji website where you can find out more about the project, including viewing some videos of some of the work that took place.
Further Resources (right click to download articles)
Also, check out the ‘Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji’ documentary: