Renewing worlds together: notes from the beach

Riding connective currents of image, sound, and WiFi, long-time collaborators Paul G Wunungmurra and Jennifer Deger will reflect on beaches as increasingly complex zones of love and concern.

How can a beach teach us to live more deeply connected lives? How might hanging out at beaches — albeit in this instance, via computer screens and speakers — cultivate an appreciation of sand and saltwater as sources of moral instruction and restorative joy? This presentation will be an experiment in form and voice orchestrated between north-east Arnhem Land and Sydney.

Showing work-in-progress from their Australian Research Council funded project, Raŋipuy, Jennifer Deger and Paul G. Wunungmurra will discuss how this beach-based work enables them to extend shared commitments to co-creative forms of making and thinking — and how this, in turn, informs their vision for the newly established Centre for Creative Futures at Charles Darwin University.

Jennifer Deger and Paul G Wunungmurra are co-founders and co-directors of the Centre for Creative Futures, Charles Darwin University, established in 2022. They are also co-founders of Miyarrka Media, an intergenerational and intercultural arts collective based at Yalakun outstation in east Arnhem Land. They are both leading two current ARC projects, Raŋiŋur: A Yolngu digital art of renewal and Caring for Cosmologies: Making Living Maps for West Miyarrka.

This event was held online on Monday 17 October 2022.



Jennifer Deger is Professor of Digital Humanities at Charles Darwin University and SEI Visiting Fellow 2021-22. Her work moves between images and words through the intertidal zones of art, anthropology, and environmental humanities. Jennifer has worked on co-creative media projects under Yolŋu leadership for several decades and writes on photography, digital aesthetics, indigenous media, and ethnographic film. She is co-editor of Feral Atlas: the More-than-Human Anthropocene (Stanford University Press, 2021).

Paul G Wunungmurra is a Dhalwaŋu leader, Senior Custodian of Yalakun outstation, Senior Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University, board member of Goŋ-Ḏäl Aboriginal Corporation, and an internationally respected cultural performer, artist and filmmaker. He has performed at the Biennale Musica (Venice, Italy), UNESCO’s 21st General Conference (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), 1982 Commonwealth Games and more. Paul is an actor in the films The Right Stuff (1983) and Quigley Down Under (1990) and has directed a film that was selected for screening at the Jean Rouch International Film Festival.

Thom van Dooren is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Deputy Director – Member Engagement at the Sydney Environment Institute. His research is situated in the broad interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities and focuses on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places.

Header image: courtesy of Miyarrka Media