|Marnti warajanga—a walk together learning resource
Marnti warajanga is a Museum of Australian Democracy travelling exhibition in association with Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre and Tobias Titz.
The 2012 Pilbara tour of Marnti warajanga is supported by BHP Billiton and the Australian Government through the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach program (NCITO), an Australian Government initiative to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.
Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that this resource may contain images and voices of deceased persons.
Warrarn marrngu kalja muwarr warajanga
Language, land, culture, people are one
Bruce Thomas, Senior Mangala man.
Marnti warajanga—a walk together is a collaboration between the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre and photographer Tobias Titz.
Exhibitions are a unique learning environment where students can feel as well as think, question as well as absorb, and discover ideas which can lead to a deeper understanding of the world, our society and ourselves.
This education package is designed to be used by teachers to assist their students to engage with the Marnti warajanga—a walk together exhibition. It is designed to allow teachers the flexibility to choose those parts which are most appropriate for their year 5 to year 10 students. It contains background information, discussion questions and class activities to enhance student learning before and after a visit to the exhibition. It also includes a learning trail that students can use during a visit to the exhibition or online.
The learning trail is designed for students from year 5 to year 8. For senior students teachers may choose focus questions from the theme guides and have students use an inquiry method to investigate these questions in the exhibition. Questions suitable for such investigation have been marked STQ (Senior Trail Questions).
Deceased person’s warning
In many communities, it is cultural practice not to say a deceased person’s name or to display or reproduce their image for a period of time which is generally determined by the family members or the community.
When using this exhibition students will have the opportunity to:
Explore milestones of the Indigenous journey of democracy in Australia and consider their relevance to today
Encounter people of the Pilbara and hear their voices
Develop empathy and understanding by exploring shared experiences
Work collaboratively and democratically through choice and negotiation
Create and share personal responses to the exhibition in a variety of media
Develop historical understanding and historical skills to support years 5-10 National Curriculum outcomes (see curriculum section)
Maximising student learning
Students gain the most out of a visit to an exhibition when it is coupled with pre-visit preparation and/or follow-up activities in the classroom. This resource contains several ideas for activities and research topics that can deepen the learning and provide context for an exhibition experience.
Before visiting the exhibition it is a good idea to discuss with students the purpose of the visit. This will help them focus and cooperate during the visit.
As a simple strategy, teachers could ask students to brainstorm what they currently know about the topics in the exhibition and construct a mind map on paper or using an interactive whiteboard. Students can then revisit this after exploring the exhibition topics in more detail.
Using this resource
The information and activities are relevant for either an on-site or an online visit to the exhibition by students and teachers.
As the teacher will be the ‘guide’ for the students, we have included information about the exhibition itself, its themes and a section on resources and sources to point you, and
your students, towards more information.
Also included are suggestions for activities to support particular learning areas, an in-exhibition activity ‘Yankurala’– Let’s Go!’ student trail and ‘Travel Further’ – a collection of suggested learning activities for art, history and language. Teachers can draw from any or all of these resources in order to customise the learning for their students.
The exhibition explores how the people of the Pilbara have engaged with democratic processes and movements. The exhibition consists of 34 black and white portrait photos, mostly of Indigenous Australians of the Pilbara region. The non-Indigenous people featured in the exhibition have worked with the community in some way – on local Councils, as lawyers, linguists or managers. In their own words, the subjects of the portraits bear witness to historical moments and reflect on their ongoing work for social and political change at a community and national level.
‘You get a sense of how a particular community connects to national events; at the same time the local, personal, individual stories are compelling’.
Tobias Titz, photographer
The title of the exhibition is from one of the Pilbara languages. Marnti warajanga means “a walk together” in Nyangumarta language.
Tobias Titz photographed each person with a large format camera using Polaroid Type 665 film. He then photographed the same space without the person in it.
Following this, the subjects were invited to write something of their choice into the wet ‘empty’ negative using an awl, usually used to incise leather. In this way, each portrait is accompanied by a written comment from the subject themselves.