Born 1990, Nhulunbuy, Rirratjiŋu, Eastern Arnhem Land, Australia
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Eastern Arnhem Land, Australia
Wunya’Gali (The Other Side)
2017, duration 5 hours (5x1 hour episodes), looped
Commissioned by Transport for NSW
Throughout July 2018
Wanama? Where are you going
Wunya’gali. The Other side.
The people in the video are all moving, walking to the other side of Yirrkala and the people of Sydney are watching from the other side as they walk past on their way.
My idea of making this art piece is to tell the other people on the other side that our life is more gentle and we have more time.
I want to show this message to the other people on the other side how Yolŋu people live their lives in Northeast Arnhem Land.
It is a window looking through from Sydney to Yirrkala.
Different timelines, different journeys, different pace.
Slow down, walk with us.
Filmed by Ishmael Marika and The Mulka Project
‘My name is Ishmael Marika. I am the grandson of Milirrpum Marika the lead plaintiff in the Gove Land Rights case. I am the son of Gary Waninya Marika, who has an Order of Australia for services to Indigenous health. My mother is Yalmakany Marawili, she is a Yirralka Ranger and exhibited artist, a sister to Djambawa Marawili. I was born in Nhulunbuy but spent my youth in Yilpara. I went to Nhulunbuy Primary School before going to Melbourne to finish years 8 and 9. I finished years 10 to12 at a school in Darwin before returning to Yirrkala in 2009. I worked as a ranger for 6 months before coming to work at the Mulka Project where I have been since 2010.’
Ishmael is a director, editor, and production officer at The Mulka Project in Yirrkala. He has worked on numerous cultural productions for the Yolngu including documentations of dhapi, bapurru, and other ceremonial events. He is best know for his documentary on Yolngu land rights entitled Wanga Watangumirri Dharuk (2010), which has screened at many festivals as well as a private screening with the East Timor former President Ramos Horta. His second film, Galka (2014), a drama depicting Yolŋu sorcery, was launched to standing ovations at Garma 2014. Other films include Gapu Ga Gunda: The Art of Nongirrngga Marawili (2015).
In 2016, Ishmael was awarded the NATSIA Youth Award, and the NIMA Traditional Music Award. He is currently working on a historical documentary about the old Yirrkala Hospital.