National Museum of Australia: Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters Interactive

Sarah Ozolins

Head, International and Domestic Engagements, National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

PO Box 1901 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

MAPDA 2018 Award for Program Website / Level B


Sizzling in the Intersections, Songlines, Tracking the Seven Sisters



It is in the intersections between the western and Indigenous worlds, or the spaces of the coloniser and the colonised, the ancient and the contemporary, that the Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters award-winning exhibition plays. Seven Sisters is an archetypal narrative of love, lust, tragedy and comedy, of trickery and bravery belonging to that great pantheon of epic sagas which all civilisations have in order to explain the human condition. It is Australia's Book of Genesis, our Ilyad and Odyssey.

The genesis of the project was initiated from the community, reaching out to the National Museum of Australia to preserve the Seven Sisters story for its future custodians, and for the enrichment of Australia and the world. They urgently sought assistance "our songlines are all broken up and we need your help to put them back together before it is too late".


Under-pinned by rigorous research, it took over seven years to develop, travelling across 7000 kilometres along the songlines of Australia's deserts in collaboration with some twenty community knowledge holders and a rich conglomerate of western knowledge holders. The younger generation needed to be engaged in this place-based oral tradition and to do this the songlines were animated "making culture cool" by digitizing the dreaming. The result is an ancient story presented in a contemporary light, taking visitors on an immersive and engaging sensory journey in Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters



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