Badimaya photo exhibition opens soon

An exhibition celebrating the culture and country of the Badimaya people of Mount Magnet will go on display at the Western Australian Museum – Geraldton from November 15.

On Badimaya Country, a joint photographic and language documentation project, captures the culture, language and extensive regional knowledge of the local Badimaya people in photo and film.

The photographs were taken by Johanna Wagner, who worked on a voluntary basis at the Bidi Bidi community centre in Mount Magnet for three months in 2012.

WA Museum – Geraldton regional manager Leigh O’Brien said the exhibition explores the beauty of Badimaya country and the enduring strength of the local people.

“Badimaya is the traditional language of the people from the area around Lake Moore, Ninghan Station and Paynes Find,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Badimaya people continue to live in towns across the Murchison Region, including Geraldton, Mount Magnet, Yalgoo, Cue and Meekatharra, however, very few still speak the language.

“The Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre has been working with elder Ollie George to document the language for future generations.”

Products from the project, including a calendar, photo booklet, and three children's books will be available from the WA Museum shop, with proceeds going towards enhancing the well-being of children and youth in Mount Magnet, and providing funding for further projects to preserve the Badimaya language and culture.

On Badimaya Country is a joint project between the Combined Universities Centre for Regional Health, the Bundiyarra - Irra Wangga Language Centre and the Bidi Bidi Centre of the Mount Magnet community, made possible through funding from the Mid West Development Commission, Royalties for Regions and the Federal Department of Arts’ Indigenous Languages Support Program.

The exhibition will be on display at the WA Museum – Geraldton from 15 November – 2 February, 2014.

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Jason Smith

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