Jarjums Life Museum

I am extremely happy to be on beautiful Minjerribah this week. I am working with the community on ‘Jarjums Life Museum’ which is a special opportunity for kids (or jarjums) to create their own museum about their lives.

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The project is lead by Inala Wangarra and I am privileged to be a part of an amazing team of creatives that brings it all together. It has been a wonderful experience already. We are working with an amazing group of Aboriginal children from the island aged from 4 – 11 years old.

We have talked about museums; what the jarjums liked about them, what they don’t like about them and what they would like in their very own museum. We visited the The North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum to gather some ideas and learnt how to build and grow ideas.

Throughout the week, jarjums have been collecting items of significance, writing down important facts and drawing pictures that represent themselves, their families and their community. They have also been collecting auto visual content with iPads and Go-Pro video cameras.

The jarjums finish each day by doing a creative activity; clay work with local artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins. They have made an array of sea creatures that will become a featured collection in their museum. I cannot wait to see these and the rest of their ideas come together and for them to see their true selves represented in a museum.

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Museums are notorious for representing Aboriginal people as they were in pre-colonial times as an archaeological view of the past. We have an important ancient history but we also have the longest surviving culture in the world and we evolve and change just as everyone else. I love that Jarjums Life Museum will be a display about contemporary Aboriginal children’s lives from their perspective. It reinforces their value and cultural importance, now and into the future.

The project will also be held at Hymba Yumba with a different group of local Aboriginal children. I am very excited to see the comparison of ideas, collections, content and artwork. Above all, I am excited to anticipate the pride and joy from all the jarjums as they open their museum to their family, friends and community.

Jarjums Life Museum – Straddie was initiated by Inala Wangarra in partnership with State Library of Queensland and Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and is funded by Australia Council and Arts Queensland.