Remembering Yayayi

Pip Deveson
Fred Myers
Ian Dunlop
57 minutes

In 1974 filmmaker Ian Dunlop visited Central Australia to follow up on thelives of Pintupi people he had photographed ten years earlier as they wereleaving their Western Desert homeland. The Pintupi were by this time tryingto establish an independent settlement at Yayayi – away from thedifficulties of life at the larger government settlement of Papunya.Dunlop spent two weeks filming at Yayayi but never made a film with thematerial he shot there. Yayayi has long since been abandoned.In this film, Pintupi elder Marlene Nampitjinpa and Ian Dunlop reflect on theYayayi footage with anthropologist Fred Myers. In so doing, they look back atan important time when Pintupi people were struggling to take control oftheir destiny.Remembering Yayayi gives access to both the original filming encounter andthe significance that archival images have for Indigenous people today. Herecontradictory feelings sit alongside each other: nostalgia with feelings ofloss; an admiration for the strength of the old people with anacknowledgement of incipient problems that people continue to face.Short biography/filmography of the director:Pip Deveson has worked on anthropological film projects over more than thirtyyears. She began her career in 1981, at Film Australia, where she joined IanDunlop to work on the Yirrkala Film Project - a long-term film projectdocumenting the effects of a huge bauxite mine on the Yolngu Aboriginalcommunity of northeast Arnhem Land. Following time out to have children, Pipreturned to work in 1994 as editor and writer on the film project. In 1996,Deveson and Dunlop shared the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Prize forthe film Conversations with Dundiwuy Wanambi.Now based at the Australian National University, Pip has continued working onmulti-media and film projects - all building on her work with Ian Dunlop. In2007, Pip was awarded a National Archives of Australia Frederick WatsonFellowship to undertake further research on the Yirrkala Film collection.During that time she also worked on several educational websites featuringYolngu cultural material: Ceremony – the Djungguwan of northeast ArnhemLand; and Living Knowledge – Indigenous knowledge in science education.A recent Australian Research Council funded project gave Pip the opportunityto produce one last film with Ian - Remembering Yayayi. With anthropologistFred Myers, they revisited 13 hours of previously unused footage, shot byDunlop in 1974 at a short-term Pintupi outstation in Central Australia.

Producer / Production company: 
Australian National University