Against all odds, Djalu Gurruwiwi, spiritual custodian for the didjeridu (yirdaki), battles to preserve his sacred music and culture.
Why Is No One Listening documents Djalu Gurruwiwi, Australian Aboriginal elder, leader of the Galpu clan, and world-renowned didjeridu master, as he fights for the future of his family and his community. Alcoholism and drug abuse run rampant, while a ravenous bauxite mining company continues to swallow up sacred land and precious resources. Armed with his yirdaki (didjeridu), and a mixture of Aboriginal spirituality and adopted Christianity, Djalu struggles to maintain his culture and traditions within the tiny mining community of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory.
The future of Djalu’s Galpu clan remains uncertain. Despite Djalu’s intentions to preserve tradition, his open heart, and his willingness to speak to the Western world are frowned upon by other clan leaders. Without a clear successor to his leadership, Djalu, in his eighties, is uncertain as to who will carry on his legacy and sacred knowledge of traditional didjeridu.
With unprecedented access into the daily lives of Djalu and the Gurruwiwi family in Australia’s Top End of Arnhem Land, this compelling documentary provides a unique examination of the experience of the modern aborigine and reveals crucial challenges to a clan’s survival. Shot on location, Why Is No One Listening is a mystical journey of discovery, giving voice to an ancient wisdom essential to the world’s cultural heritage.
The film is currently in the production stage. We have shot 150 + hours of footage over the last 10 years, but we need one more trip to complete and round out this amazing story of Djalu, his family, and the Yolngu community of Northeast Arnhem Land.
As this project has been totally self-funded so far, we need your support to make this film a reality. By donating to this project, you enable profoundly disenfranchised indigenous Australians a chance to be heard. Your support will help carry the voices and music of the Yolngu out into the world, preserving one of the oldest living cultural traditions.
Funds raised through Kickstarter will go toward the production budget of the film, including equipment rental, travel expenses to Australia and Arnhem Land, and initial post-production expenses such as hard drives and translation costs.
We cannot do it without you!
Additional Resources and Press:
Djalu Gurruwiwi has received press and recognition from around the world. Below is a list of additional information that can be found on Djalu, the didjeridu and the Yolngu:
Djalu’s Complete biography
Australian Didjeridu Cultural Hub
Buku-Larrngay Mulka Art Center
Thank you so much for pledging your support.
Photos: August Thurmer
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