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Kulinmaya! Keep Listening, Everybody! (Mumu Mike Williams, A&U)

Pitjantjatjara artist and activist Mumu Mike Williams, aka Kunmanara, sought to hold the government to account on Indigenous issues through his subversive artwork, which repurposed Australia Post mailbags into painted canvases. Williams’ nonfiction book, written in Pitjantjatjara and English, showcases his artwork and aims to raise awareness of the issues concerning the people living on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands of central Australia. Ideas around local governance, land rights, sustainable land management and protection of heritage sites are integrated into Williams’ artwork along with the concept of Tjukurpa, which describes the culture, law, knowledge and heritage of the Anangu people. Williams’ aim was to pass on the message about Tjukurpa to the teenage boys in his community and to continue the knowledge transfer from his elders, with the hope that the book would be read by politicians and young people everywhere. Sadly, Williams died before his book was published, but hopefully it will serve to spread his message. Kulinmaya! Keep Listening, Everybody! is a colourful and insightful book for high school students. Young people will be interested to learn about the way Williams grew up and went to school in APY lands, and the book presents plenty of new concepts and questions for them to discuss with their teachers.

Andrew Wrathall is the production manager at Books+Publishing


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