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HAPPENINGText: Luca Ionescu

The Indigenous cultures of Australia are considered to have the longest continuous history of any culture on earth. Drawing on their relationship with this vast and ancient landscape they offer unique insights into life in Australia, past and present.

The word ‘bayagul’ means ‘speaking up’ and is from the language of the Eora, the first people of the Sydney region. There are more than 350 Indigenous languages in Australia. Bayagul is the inaugural exhibition in the Powerhouse Museum‘s new permanent gallery devoted to Indigenous Australian culture…

From the moment you enter the exhibition and meet the Marrugeku dancers you will be immersed in the messages of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communication from the brilliant architectural design of the award-winning Merrima group to the antics of Yamba the Honey Ant from Central Australia’s Imparja TV, Australia’s first Indigenous television station.

Mimi © Marrugeku

Bayagul reveals aspects of Indigenous Australian identities as they are expressed through today’s technologies and industries. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples are speaking up for themselves in film, dance, music, architecture, tourism, media, fashion and much more! Bayagul communicates through: powerful contemporary design fun and educational interactive audiovisual displays featuring dance, music and film by Australia’s first peoples.

Meet Me at the Mountain © Bronwyn Bancroft

Bayagul also speaks through the work of some outstanding contemporary Indigenous artists and performers Jimmy Little, Bronwyn Bancroft, Tracey Moffatt, Rachael Perkins, Deborah Mailman, Justine Saunders, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Mervyn Bishop. Bayagul takes you on a journey around Australia meeting key players in the exhibition’s four thematic areas of tourism, fashion and textiles, the performing arts and the media. Bayagul will speak to you!

Bush tucker connections from 10 July 2002. This new display inside the Bayagul: contemporary Indigenous communication exhibition tells story of interaction with the Australian landscape through implements used for food gathering such as dilly bags, coolamons and fish traps.

A range of exciting educational activities will complement Bayagul for school, tertiary and adult learners. Book an Indigenous Perspectives tour of the exhibition or join any of the special Indigenous programs that will run throughout the year.
For details of education programs phone: +61 (02) 9217 0222

Bayagul: Contemporary Indigenous Communication
Date: May 23rd, 2000 – April 10th, 2007
Open: 10:00 – 17:00 (Thursday 18:00 – 21:00)
Place: Powerhouse Museum
Address: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney NSW 2007
Tel: +61 612 9217 0111

Text: Luca Ionescu
Photos: Courtesy of Powerhouse Museum

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.