Bir’yun is a Yolngu word denoting qualities of sparkle, glitter and shine. The word is sometimes used by artists when they are nearing completion of bark paintings. Suddenly the energy of the ancestors comes alive on the bark – and the painting becomes bir’yun.
To mark the announcement of the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, join us for a discussion of the intricacy and potency of unique words from the languages of Australia’s first peoples.
Daniel Browning, Bruce Pascoe and Jessie Lloyd will introduce and define a favourite word in language, then discuss why this word is precious and how it defies English translation. We’ll also explore the power these words have to express different types of knowledge and distinctive ways of making sense of the world.
Presented in partnership with The Poet’s Voice.
Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He’s the author of the best-selling Dark Emu, Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, Loving Country: A Guide to Sacred Australia and over thirty other books including the short story collections Night Animals... Read more
Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster, sound artist and writer. Currently, he is produces and presents Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on the ABC’s specialist journalism and arts network Radio National. Awaye! surveys contemporary Indigenous cultural pra... Read more
An award winning musician, composer and creative entrepreneur, Jessie Lloyd is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from the tropics of North Queensland. Jessie has experience in the areas of musical direction, arts management and sector development; dedicated to the progress of modern Ind... Read more
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