Lotjpa Yorta Yorta! Retrieving, reclaiming, and regenerating language and culture through the arts.

Bennett, C 2016, Lotjpa Yorta Yorta! Retrieving, reclaiming, and regenerating language and culture through the arts., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Title Lotjpa Yorta Yorta! Retrieving, reclaiming, and regenerating language and culture through the arts.
Author(s) Bennett, C
Year 2016
Abstract I am Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung. I am a singer, songwriter, performer and educator and I teach through songs, stories and performance. This research project draws on all these areas of expression and is both creative and educational.

In my research, I investigated the ways that the Yorta Yorta language and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. I explored the ways I can utilise my life experience and the knowledge of my culture and language to heal myself, and the wider community from the consequences and continual impact of colonisation. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples of the world have applied song, story and performance to educate, heal the mind and body, evoke spirit and entertain. I investigated the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal languages cross-culturally and across different generations. These issues have formed a significant part of my reflections as a researcher, performer and arts practitioner.

In my inquiry I employed two methodologies, the dominant being an Indigenous methodology of Gulpa Ngawar-l (Yorta Yorta for deep looking and listening) as a useful framework for reflecting on the themes I am examining in my research and a secondary methodology of creative practice approach, which complements and supports Gulpa Ngawar-l.

I am interested in the ways Gulpa Ngawar-l can encourage a way of thinking about the process of collecting languages in danger of becoming lost. Gulpa Ngawar-l was used as an approach to conceptualising the work of building on and strengthening Aboriginal languages. My inquiry focused on the following questions:

How do we collect and revitalise languages in ethical and culturally sensitive ways, and in ways that give back to the communities?
How do we make sure we are treating the languages with the utmost cultural respect, allowing the true phonology of our languages to be heard, and not to ‘anglo-size’ them?
The outcomes of my inquiry affirm the need for Indigenous involvement and Indigenous authority in creating language projects where the arts are at the forefront and that language retrieval is now a global phenomenon. We are not alone.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts
Keyword(s) Yorta Yorta
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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2016, 16:00:03 EST by Keely Chapman
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