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Inaugural NORTH publication celebrates Warlpiri creatives

Grace Crivellaro -

A new print publication showcasing the talent of local artists and storytellers of the Warlpiri and Anmatyerr Country has been launched by non-profit arts organisation, NORTH.

NORTH magazine is led by Warlpiri editor, Samara Fernandez, and is a collaborative project between NORTH and the communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi.

The first issue, This is Warlukurlangu, includes over 130 pages that showcase Warlpiri voices, photographs, stories, art and fashion.

Fernandez said the magazine represents beauty and culture.

"My one true goal was to make sure I'm representing my family ... and their community to their core," she said.

"I know my community as a place of cultural abundance and saw, in this magazine, an opportunity to show you Yuendumu and what us Warlpiri people are truly like."

"Especially in mainstream media, our community is depicted in a way they see fit without actually understanding the structure and the beauty within our community."

Fernandez said the publication embodies the resilience of the Yuendumu community.

"It was really special to be able to do this publication because as Warlpiri people, we've been going through a lot at the moment ... with the Justice for Walker project," said Fernandez.

"I wrote a couple of pieces ... about wellbeing linked to how we cope with adversity, and how we cope with difficult times in our lives to get the conversation going."

Wellbeing. Photo supplied by NORTH.

Award-winning Warlpiri photographer, Liam Manjal Jampijinpa Alberts, is one of the featured artists in the magazine.

Alberts took out the Desart Photography Prize for 2020 with his piece, Local Warming.

The striking photo is included on a double spread in the NORTH publoication and tells a story of the impacts of global warming on Country.

"It used to be a very fertile and green place. The Elders told stories about how it used to be, and it just sounded completely the opposite of what it looks like now," said Alberts.

Liam Manjal Jampijinpa Alberts' Local Warming. Photo supplied by NORTH.

"Being published was a really good opportunity to share stories that I capture from my own perspective."

Fernandez said the publication will give readers the opportunity to get to know the local artists that work with NORTH, as well as the wider Yuendumu community.

"It's one thing to admire the art. But I think it's really wonderful and important to actually be able to get to know the artists behind the artwork as well," she said.

The publication officially launched at the start of September and will be on sale for a year, with new issues published annually.

This is Warlukurlangu can be purchased here.

By Grace Crivellaro

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