Wednesday, 08 September 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
The documentary film ‘DJÄKAMIRR Caretaker of Pregnancy and Birth’ had its Darwin premiere at iconic Deckchair Cinema. Photo credit: Julianne Osborne.
The documentary film ‘DJÄKAMIRR Caretaker of Pregnancy and Birth’ had its Darwin premiere at iconic Deckchair Cinema. Photo credit: Julianne Osborne.

Award-winning DJÄKAMIRR sold out at Deckchair

The documentary ‘DJÄKAMIRR Caretaker of Pregnancy and Birth’ recently won the Indigenous Film Award at the Fort Smith International Film Festival in Arkansas, USA.

The theme of the inaugural festival was ‘Through Their Eyes,’ celebrating the artistic expression and diverse experiences of Native Americans and People of Colour.

DJÄKAMIRR has also proved a hit with Darwin audiences, selling out all 350 available tickets for its recent Deckchair Cinema premiere.

The film explores childbirth from the perspectives of Yolŋu women in Galiwin’ku, a community on Elcho Island. Filmed over two years, it follows two Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers on a unique journey through ancestral time, country and culture.

Senior research fellow at CDU’s Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Associate Professor Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, a project co-lead, said that for over 60,000 years, Yolŋu childbirth happened on country.

“Skilled djäkamirr (midwifery caretakers) used ancestral wisdom and bush technologies to support women and babies, helping the Yolŋu to flourish,” Professor Maypilama said

Early career researcher at the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Dr Sarah Ireland, said the film demonstrates that positive change is possible when Yolŋu and non-Yolŋu work together.

“This documentary is a rare invitation to experience Yolŋu women’s culture and hear their aspirations for maternity services,” Dr Ireland said.

The event’s Welcome to Country was given by Larrakia Elder, CDU Larrakia Academic in Residence ‘Aunty’ Bilawara Lee and the screening was opened by CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mike Wilson.

Professor Maypilama introduced the film to an excited audience and following the screening, a recorded question and answer session featured bloopers that had the crowd laughing.

The evening ended on a serious note, with a call to action, urging people to visit the DJÄKAMIRR website to support a birthing centre on Galiwin'ku and to help drive change so maternity services meet the needs of all Australian First Nations women and families.

The event was hosted by CDU’s Northern Institute and Molly Wardaguga Research Centre.

View the film’s call to action:
https://www.birthingoncountry.com/djakamirr-action