Posted to the Ethnos Project by on November 11th, 2013

WARNING: This website contains images, names and stories of Aboriginal people who have passed away.

Mira (Martu Wangka): to bring something hidden into the light

Mira represents the culmination of FORM’s award-winning Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 and has involved over 250 Aboriginal participants, over 100 Aboriginal artists and elders, approximately 100 non-Indigenous contributors, and a cross-cultural project team of curators, filmmakers, photographers and cultural advisors. Their collective contributions have resulted in a vast archive of intangible cultural heritage, which the Project has been committed to returning to participating communities since its early days. With the astronomical growth of Project content between 2006 and 2013 amounting to over 40,000 unique cultural heritage items, the Project team has been focused on the development of innovative and sustainable digital solutions for the repatriation of this content to the 17 remote Aboriginal communities involved.


Mira is the result. It has grown out of an historical context in which Aboriginal knowledge has long been appropriated and/or removed from communities by researchers, anthropologists, government agencies, land councils and others. Though Aboriginal people are amongst the most researched peoples in the world, their recorded cultural knowledge has long been deposited in far away institutions where it is safe but usually extremely difficult for Aboriginal communities to locate and access, and the displacement of this knowledge continues to impact the transmission of cultural knowledge in many communities.

The Canning Stock Route Digital Futures Project enables intangible cultural heritage materials to be used, shared, viewed and enjoyed in communities via an online portal. Mira is the heart of Digital Futures and has been developed by FORM in partnership with the Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA) at University of California Berkeley. Mira, which means ‘to bring something hidden into the light’ in Martu Wangka will not only provide remote community access but also offer extensive public access to a vast amount of the Project’s content in accordance with cultural protocols established by Aboriginal contributors and communities. This archive ensures that this trove content is preserved and future-proofed allowing communities to access and share these materials for generations to come.

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