20th REMOTE INDIGENOUS MEDIA FESTIVAL, WAIBEN
On the 22nd to the 27th of September, The Torres Strait Islander Media Association and First Nations Media Australia held the 20th remote indigenous media festival on Waiben (Thursday Island).
150 delegates from 34 different organisations of the First Nations media industry were welcomed by the Kaurareg Nation for a week of local art and music through nightly cinema screenings, music performances, award ceremonies, forums, discussions and six skill development workshops.
The workshops were designed to expand the media skillsets of all those involved in areas of podcasting, archive digitalisation, news production, digital storytelling, cinematography and producing music for film. The Thamarrurr development corporation broadcasting team were involved with news production and cinematography workshops.
With the digital divide that is apparent in most remote indigenous communities it is important that organisations focus on capacity building for community members so that their voices and opinions can be heard through both traditional and digital forms of broadcasting. For most of 2019, T.D.C broadcasting have been working under the guidance of Indigenous X to improve its digital footprint and online presence to keep up with the changing landscape of communications and media.
The news production workshop was led by Luke Pearson, founder and CEO of IndigenousX. The workshop focused on the power and global reach of social media and writing articles to be published online. Being able to spend time with Luke in person was invaluable for the team.
When in their respective communities, sometimes people face various external pressures that people from the outside don’t see and may never understand. Writing an article is no mean feat. With the team being in a setting like Waiben and a more intimate one on one situation in the company of a person who’s passion is:
“To improve Indigenous media representation in Australia and to have a platform for individuals to tell their own stories in their own words”-Luke Pearson.
Cornelius Mollingin worked on an article, and had it published online.
The team also set up their own personal twitter pages.
The team were also interviewed by Dr Lyndon Ormond Parker and Dr Sharon Huebner of Melbourne university who have a strong relationship with the Wadeye community through their important ongoing work and guidance in the archiving and digitisation space within the Kanamkek Yile-Ngala museum.
Dr Ormond parker addressed an industry forum using his work with the Wadeye community as an example. A survey from members of first nations media found that archiving, collection management and digitisation was one of the most important areas of communications and media in remote indigenous communities.
By using Wadeye as an example it gave other organisations who were considering their own management of collections a chance to talk to an organisation about the various methods involved and common issues that arise from collection preservation and archiving work.
Fransisco Bunduck attended the cinematography workshop that was delivered by Devris Hasan, an accomplished cinematographer and intuitive tutor from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
Rather than complicating the film making process with technical aspects, the workshop was geared towards building on the skills and knowledge that attendees already had. From high end cameras down to iPad’s, all forms of film making were covered. The cinematography and film making space can at times be occupied by people who get consumed by the latest equipment and forget the importance of story. It was refreshing for the team to be guided by Devris who’s main focus was to empower people to tell their stories in ways that they feel comfortable with while utilising tools that most people have access to in remote communities.
The remote Indigenous media festival’s workshops were a success overall. It also allowed organisations to identify similar issues and different ideas and strategies to improve their media and communications workspace. It also gave people the chance to share knowledge, to build on existing relationships and to form new ones for the future.