Ngiyaa survived the great acceleration down but she was ready. Unlike many people around her, she felt staying still was the most rewarding stance. But ‘the end of the world’ was more challenging than she had ever imagined. Even though her grandmother had prepared her, taught her the art of Dadirri (deep listening) and helped her assemble her ‘bug out bag’, it was hard to stay centered when there were people dying all around her. The great acceleration was merciless but it was the selfish and individualistic who wouldn’t make it.
Ngiyaa had in her bag the vital ingredients to create community, practice ritual, listen to Country, connect and engender love. She had spent many nights in the lead up jumping on forums and speaking to other preppers about what would be needed in her bag but it was the traditional knowledge that her grandmother taught her that would be the most useful. How to navigate using the stars, identify which plants were poisonous and which were potions. But she also brought with her technologies from the modern world because taking the best of both cultures would help her survive in the Australian bush.
But her greatest preparation was her love for others. Her grandmother had named her Ngiyaa after all, which is Gumbaynggirr for ‘we’ so her whole life and identity had been preparing for this new and more benevolent world.
Materials: 3 kangaroo skins sewed together water bottle with leather nylon rope knife leather pocket with clapsticks ochre sage sticks little basket, round woven with woven things inside book songlines diary with trad knowledge info in it torch aboriginal fish hooks fishing line on indigenous spool
Photographer: Martina Capurso
Three kangaroo skins stitched together, one protruding edge is attached on a white wall. The skins fall down onto a white horizontal surface. The suede side of the kangaroo skin is visible as well as one edge of the kangaroo fur. Resting on top of the skins are a series of objects; two clapsticks rounded at the ends in dark wood, a piece of white ochre, to the left and going out of the image is one commercially printed book, and on top of that sits a leather bound hand written journal opened to reveal notes and sketches. Leaning against the back of the skin are three bundles of sage sticks with twine wrapped around them. To the left of these is a stainless steel water bottle wrapped in leather and at its base is a handheld, small, black torch with a woven, traditional Aboriginal fishing hook resting on top of it.