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Mar 7, 2023

"Let no one say the past is dead, the past is all about us and within." --Oodgeroo Noonuccal

When I Touched the Ground

"Nyurpaya Kaika Burton is a respected and revered senior artist, educator, storyteller and cultural leader. She is also one of the few remaining poetic speakers of Pitjantjatjara, a traditional Indigenous language of Central Australia's remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. There were once more than 400 traditional languages spoken across the Australian continent, but only around 13 are still spoken by children-- all threatened by policies restricting Aboriginal people from speaking their languages and the ongoing forces of colonisation. At the age of 70, she decided to share this deeply personal story of her birth, revealing, for the first time, the traditional birthing methods that have helped define her cultural life. Telling this story is part of her continuous work to protect her ancient culture, and to ensure that future generations can speak the language it lives in.The soundscape is binaural, specifically recorded on the country of Nyurpaya's birth, in one of the most remote parts of Australia. Therefore the piece is best experienced through headphones." Radio Atlas shares this hauntingly beautiful piece.


"From the perspective of understanding the world we inhabit, I think it's never good if your idea of a place you don't live is informed by reports that come from a touristic perspective, or ones that privilege the voices of people who just happen to speak your language," says Radio Atlas founder Eleanor McDowall. Learn more about her compelling journey and work here. More ...