Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Barbara Glowczewski

Tracking the Spirit of the Dreamings. Ritual Dreamers and Warlpiri Artists from Lajamanu – Dream of Insomnia Workshop

18 February 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

Watch on Vimeo
Felix Guattari and Barbara Glowczewski, Les Warlpiri, text, Download (PDF)
Barbara Glowczewski, The Paradigm of Indigenous Australians, 2007, text, Download (PDF)
Barbara Glowczewski, Guattari et l_anthropologie, text, Download (PDF)

As an anthropologist, who started to work in Central Australia in 1979, Barbara Glowczewski was lucky to record then and over the years many rituals and creative use of dream revelations for new ritual songs, dances and body paintings which relate to stories connecting places through totemic mythical hybrid ancestors and spirits of children to be born. The result of these geographical connections – flexible according to narratives, songs and contexts of new alliances, mourning or dream revelations - was the fabric of an open network of hundreds of virtual pathways or totemic trails that the Warlpiri - like their neighbours - call Jukurrpa, Dreamings. Such trails are drawn on the body, in the sand, and also, since the mid 1980's, with acrylics on canvas for sale. In this lecture, Glowczewski has showed some examples of how Warlpiri people from Lajamanu, specifically women, used to actualise the mythical network of Dreamings with new dreams, stories, songs, paintings and performances, and how today some of them inject new spiritual effects and affects into art pieces and places of exhibitions.

Barbara Glowczewski, author of experimental films in the 1970's, has a Professorial research tenure at the CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre in France) and coordinates the team "Anthropology of perception" at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology (CNRS/EHESS/Collège de France). Between 1979 and 2011, she has cumulated 13 years of fieldwork in Australia (Warlpiri people in Lajamanu, Yawuru and Jabirr Jabirr people in Broome, and Pam Island). She teaches and supervises PhD students at EHESS (School of Social Sciences, Paris), and joint degrees with Australian Universities. Her multimedia work has been displayed in various art and science events around the world (including 2 CD-ROMS produced with UNESCO: Dream trackers, Yapa art and Knowledge of the Australian desert, 2000 and Cultural diversity and Indigenous People, 2004, or the documentary Spirit of Anchor, with W. Barker, 2002). Author of many books and articles, most recent The Challenge of Indigenous Peoples (Oxford, Bardwell Press, co-edited with R. Henry, 2011). Her Warlpiri audiovisual archives are currently collaboratively documented on

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