1 November – 9 December 2013 | 20 October – 10 December 2014 | 25 February 2015 – 2 April 2015
Pia Lanzinger’s project focuses on Wajarri, an Aboriginal language that today has less than 50 fluent speakers, despite it once being the most commonly spoken language in Australia’s mid-western region. Lanzinger’s project, Geraldton goes Wajarri, is concerned with the conservation of this language, and takes Wajarri words into the public spaces of the City of Greater Geraldton. During her residency, Lanzinger invited Jambinu (Geraldton) citizens to adopt a Wajarri word and to use it in day-to-day life, effectively to become mentors for the language. Through her adopt-a-word campaign and a series of playful public events, Lanzinger created a reservoir of knowledge, a living archive of the language in the consciousness of Geraldton residents.
Lanzinger’s project is supported by the Central Greenough Artist in Residence Program, which is presented by the City of Greater Geraldton and the National Trust. Geraldton goes Wajarri is also made possible through a partnership with the Western Australian Museum – Geraldton, and through the generous support from the Irra Wanga Language Centre and City Hive/ Pollinators.
Images: Pia Lanzinger, Geraldton goes Wajarri: A city revitalises its endangered Aboriginal language, 2014, installation view, spaced 2: future recall, Western Australian Museum Perth Photo: Robert Frith – Acorn Photography; Photos by Pia Lanzinger and Clinton Nalder.