“We never had any photos of my family”: Archival return, film, and a personal history

Fred Myers, Lisa Stefanoff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The film Remembering Yayayi emerged from a project to return raw 16mm film footage shot in 1974 at the early Pintupi outstation of Yayayi, near Papunya, by filmmaker Ian Dunlop, with Fred Myers as translator and consultant. Two subsequent remote Pintupi communities, Kintore and Kiwirrkura, were involved in the footage’s return. The material had not been available for research (or other) purposes until 2005, when VHS copies were made from the workprint deposited in the National Archives of Australia. In 2006, Myers and Stefanoff took this rare historical visual material in Pintupi language to Kintore and Kiwirrkura, showing it to individuals and family groups and holding community screenings. Responses were overwhelmingly positive. The tapes quickly became regular entertainment for patients undergoing lengthy renal dialysis sessions and Myers received multiple requests for copies. Over several years, one of Myers’ long-term Pintupi friends, Marlene Spencer Nampitjinpa, came to provide a moving personal commentary on the footage, enabling a feature documentary to be produced from it.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)217-238
    Number of pages22
    JournalLanguage Documentation and Conservation
    StatePublished - 2020


    • Archive
    • Film
    • Memory
    • Pintupi
    • Repatriation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Library and Information Sciences


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