On-line resources for off-line communities

Turpin, M and Carew, Margaret (2011) On-line resources for off-line communities. In: Sustainable data from digital research, 12-14 December, 2011, Melbourne, Victoria. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In small communities in Central Australia, many Aboriginal language speakers do not have access to computers or internet. In such contexts, how then do we ensure research materials are 'on-line' to the people with whom we record and work? This paper considers how my Arandic song research, conducted in such small communities, can be made accessible and 'pertinent' to community members. Pertinence is 'relevant for the language community's aims and efforts for their language' (Nathan 2006). I consider how audio recordings are used and how song books are used and then discuss a collaboration with Batchelor Institute (BIITE) that aims to create an audio book of an Alyawarr women's song series. Data storage, management and retrieval play a role in how pertinent and quickly audio recordings can be made available to community stakeholders. Community requests are often for a particular set of songs, or by a particular person. These songs are embedded in larger recordings and may span many recordings. The use of iTunes, not just as a management tool but also as an annotation tool has proven efficient. A methodology for extracting songs as separate files whilst maintaining their link to the original recording, then importing and annotating in itunes, enables the exact material requested to be retrieved and burnt onto CD within a short time. These CDs are listened to in private and on some occasions played on a ghetto blaster as 'back-up' for singers at a ceremony where only a few people know the words. A new genre of expression that has emerged through a language revival program has been the local creation of songbooks. These children's songs are typed up, printed, illustrated and spiral-bound. They are used regularly in classrooms and the pictures stimulate further discussion. Although there are audio recordings of these songs, it is the books that are used as a tool for teaching the lyrics and their meanings. Furthermore, the audio and the song book are detached together. The Alyawarr song series publication aims to fulfill both needs. The book will include descriptions and images of what the songs refer to, as well as of the ceremonial designs and dancing. An accompanying audio CD will enable it to be used in other contexts. We also consider sound printing, where audio can be accessed by placing an Audio Reader over the text, as a means of reliably linking sound with text and images.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Additional Information: Presentation held on Sydney eScholarship Repository site
Keywords: Central Australia, songs, Alyawarr
Field of Research: 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200319 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Research Collaboration Area: Languages
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2016 00:21
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 00:21
URI: http://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/346

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