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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Saur January 29, 2019

Collaboration with the Past, Collaboration for the Future: Joseph Neparrŋa Gumbula’s Makarr-garma Exhibition

  • Rebecca Conway EMAIL logo


The Yolŋu elder and academic Joseph Neparrŋa Gumbula curated the exhibition, Makarr-garma: Aboriginal Collections from a Yolŋu Perspective (Makarr-garma), staged at the University of Sydney’s Macleay Museum from 29 November 2009 to 15 May 2010. This article describes this exhibition’s development and curatorial rationale. A product of his 2007 Australian Research Council (ARC) Indigenous Research Fellowship at the University, Makarr-garma reflected Gumbula’s Yolŋu philosophies as applied to collections in the Gallery, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector. Employing artworks, cultural objects, historic photographs, natural history specimens and his own manikay (songs), he framed this show as a garma (open) ceremonial performance that spanned an archetypal Yolŋu day. The exhibition was immersive and “culturally resonant” (Gilchrist, Indigenising), and provides intellectual and practical insights for the GLAM sector’s representation and management of Indigenous collections.


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Published Online: 2019-01-29
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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