Living Language celebrated in landmark exhibition

Friday 12 July 2019

“Our languages didn’t just gently wander off into the Dreamtime; they were silenced, and Aboriginal people died trying to pass them on.” Damien Webb (Palawa)

To mark UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages, the State Library of NSW is staging a major exhibition to celebrate the strength, diversity and richness of Aboriginal languages in NSW, opening on Saturday 13 July.

Living Language: Country, Culture, Community features filmed conversations with Elders and language custodians on Country, as well as original documents from the State Library of NSW and international collections, to tell the rich and evolving story of language revival across NSW.

The free exhibition has been co-curated by the State Library’s Indigenous Engagement team with Aboriginal language speakers and Elders from the Central and North West Plains through to Coastal Sydney, who share compelling stories of joy, strength and survival.

Living Language is set against a background of extraordinary photographs and drone footage of coasts, plains and mountain ranges. At the heart of the exhibition is a yarning circle where visitors will hear a Gumbaynggirr creation story of the Southern Cross.

Download the full media release