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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Burarra Gathering: Sharing Indigenous Knowledge
Geoffrey Crane, Questacon, Australia

Session: Exhibition Projects

Burarra Gathering Online is Questacon's first Web exhibition. The exhibition was based on the interactive, physical exhibition Burarra Gathering: Sharing Indigenous Knowledge, which was Questacon’s first Indigenous-based exhibition. The two exhibitions show some of the traditional technologies of the Burarra ("bur-ah-da") people of remote central north Arnhem Land, in Australia's Northern Territory. Both Burarra exhibitions were developed in co-operation with, and the approval of, the Burarra Elders. This paper will briefly outline the development of the physical exhibition and examine in more detail the on-line version. The Burarra Gathering Online development team faced many challenges, including a limited budget, the logistics of having to seek incremental approvals from Burarra Elders in remote communities 4 000 km away, and the usual technical issues these projects involve. Evaluation of the finished products has shown them to be effective in presenting Indigenous technologies in a contemporary context; they have received praise from the Burarra people and many other organizations around the world. The development processes and resulting exhibitions have shown that a close partnership with an Indigenous community can lead to insightful exhibitions that share Indigenous knowledge with the world.