The Emerging Multimedia Practitioners Program saw four trainees developing a range of skills including camera, audio and interviewing techniques, project planning, the ability to write treatments and prepare shot lists and logs for editing. Young Martu photographer and filmmaker Morika Biljabu and filmmakers Kenneth ‘KJ’ Martin (from Halls Creek), Broome-based Clint Dixon and Parnngurr man Curtis Taylor were the emerging practitioners mentored by award-winning filmmaker and producer Nicole Ma. Biljabu, Martin and Dixon shadowed the multi-media team during the 2007 six-week return to country journey; Taylor would join the Project a little later.
‘I find it fun to workshop ideas with fresh young minds. You can see the world through the next generations’ eyes. The process is a two way street – one can learn as much as one can teach. Remote community professionals bring a unique worldview to us. From my experience this is based on their relationship to their Country, family and ancestors and the concept (highly simplified) that if we take care of Country, Country takes care of us. I think this worldview is ultimately what the soul of the Project is about.’
I was making films [on the Project] but mostly I was doing camera, taking pictures. And helping old people as well. I made a little film about my Nanna… [When] I’m far away from home the painting keeps me happy and keeps me close so I can remember my country. My Nanna used to tell me stories, so all I do is watch the painting, I don’t want to feel lonely, I’m home.’
‘We are learning from each other, learning along the way … I’m learning not just about filming but culture side … I’m learning how artists tell their stories through painting. They are really brave. They are telling the story for the whole of Australia. If they can do it, surely everyone can understand this history, ’cos there are two sides of the story.‘
‘In 2007 I flew to Kunawarritji and met all the artists and the team. I travelled all the way up for nearly three weeks back home to Halls [Creek], taking photos, learning about all the different groups and understanding why painting is important. I made a film out there in the desert too and now I’m filming the co-curators building this exhibition.’
‘This exhibition is really about the history of Australia. I am really proud that I am working on this Project, because it is history. At the end of the day it will be good when all those people who worked on this Project and all those people that came to the show really understand and appreciate and say “thank you” [to Martu] for telling us this history and letting us know about this story.’