Side by Side – Maya Haviland- Hopevale

The work of Maya Haviland is well worth a look. Her Blog / research site , “Side by Side” , is a rich body of developing work. She shares an online gallery of projects using collaborative ethnography , research thoughts and resources and shares links to other people’s works in similar areas of interest .
Her own photography work is shared from her travels , linked to a recent exhibition of her photo’s in Canberra. Of much interest to me is the work we share in common with the work of her Father , John Haviland. John Haviland lived with his family and worked with many of the Elders and the community whilst undertaking anthropological research in Cape York in the 70’s.
I met Maya his daughter a year back in (09) before heading again to Cape Flattery and Hopevale in Cape York to do the second of our Digital Storytelling projects. I had written to her father John Haviland , after coming across the now out of print copy of ” Milbi ” . “Milbi”, not surprisingly was also the name we had ended up calling our digital storytelling tent during the previous Hopevale- Pelican camp.

“Milbi” in Guugu Yimithirr is the work for Story , so of course when we asked what the tent should be called , this is the name we were given and thus is also the name of the DVD we produced from the 18 stories created that year with the community.( see them on this site ).
On finding this rare and wonderful book , I researched on the every wonderful google and in no time found that John Haviland was in Mexico doing work there . I sent an email request and excitedly told him of our work there and how much finding his book had meant to us, as it felt important to me to make contact with someone else who had done such significant research and lived there for such a long period of time. I could see the links and so could he and within a few short weeks , Maya , his daughter contacted me and with some back and forth emails and excited phone conversations a connection was made.
Sometime later Maya visited me here in Brisbane and we spent hours talking and sharing. Our work is very similar and we are both passionate and interested in a lot of the same ideas , issues and our research weaves nicely in and out of each others . True to the heart of collaborative , co creative – participatory methods.
Maya’s work is also linked and archived with PANDORA , the National Archive’s Digital archive program .
If you go to the link to Maya’s site , please do check out the new story put together and edited on his last trip to Hopevale . The original stories from ‘Milbi ” with Elder Tulo Gordon , in Guugu Yimithirr were done in the 70’s and the art work was also done by Tulo Gordon who was also a well-respected artist and storyteller. With the work we had been doing along with the very active interest and use of digital media in the school and the resources of the new Indigenous Knowledge and Technology centre, with the Library and archives sections, it was a perfect time to revisit and explore how and if these stories could be put together in a DST form.
The syncronistic nature of all this was quite wonderful to observe and who better to do this and bring this full circle with the community and Tulo Gordon’s family , but the John and Maya Haviland.
The story of the Night Owl , or Bunja is on Maya’s site and for ages I have meant to link to this site and share more about this work . For more information about the history of her Father work and what is happening now with the archival material he gathered at that time , please follow the link.
The ongoing links and work of Maya and John Haviland works very well with the intentions of the Hopevale- Pelican project and my own research aims. I had hoped as one of the aims of this project to build links , to find ways to bring “old Stories and New Stories together ” and explore how , this new media , specifically digital storytelling could be used by the community.
How could this embedded practice using new media and digital storytelling – participatory video practices be used through the annual Hopevale Pelican camp, but also , and very importantly , beyond the camp. Could it be used to explore issues of importance to the community , as tool to record archival materials , to record events , to pass on stories , to build literacy in language and to bridge some generational divides.
To encourage this process of sharing we have created links together , such as the Hopevale -Pelican site and Pelican Expeditions which all link with my site. These sites also link with the Hopevale Wikki , which was set up through the Hopevale Indigenous Knowledge centre at the same time as the 2nd DST Hopevale – Pelican project took place. At this time we also linked with the SLQ state archives and the regional Qld resources section . In these projects we aimed to ensure local skill transference would continue as well as training and also to be sure the materials would be archived ongoing with the community and be community owned.
This for me is the heart of this work , building on skills , connection with others , growing these things together.

Here is the link to Maya’s site and to the work specifically done by John Haviland with Tulo Gordon’s story which is linked within their page.

~ by samiastories on 22 June, 2010.

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