“That Painting Now is Telling Us Something”: Negotiating and Apprehending Contemporary Meaning in Yanyuwa Rock Art, Northern Australia

Liam Michael Brady, Senior Scholar, Monash Indigenous Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and SAR Summer Fellow

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Liam Michael BradyLiam Michael Brady2015 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar. Photograph courtesy of Liam Brady.Liam Michael Brady2015 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar. Photograph courtesy of Liam Brady.

A major challenge in archaeology focuses on how archaeologists develop a greater awareness and understanding of the present-day significance, meaning, and relevance of archaeological features to indigenous communities. In this presentation Dr. Brady discusses contemporary Yanyuwa (Australian Aboriginal) responses to, emotions generated by,and encounters with rock art sites in northern Australia via site visits and engagement with archaeological data. This information is used to demonstrate how the social properties of these sites are constantly developing through ongoing engagement with and negotiations by Traditional Owners in a variety of settings. By exploring the complex processes through which contemporary meaning is generated, Brady shows how rock art, and by extension other archaeological features, can be considered sentient, multi-vocal and active social agents of the present and future.

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