This year, the team at Durrmu Arts gave us 'Peppimenarti' - a beautiful photo book that made its debut at the 2018 NGV Book Fair. Filled with many photographs and images of our community from decades past, our book was featured at the Regional Arts Australia stall - and we are proud to say that 'Peppimenarti' is now sold out!
Bringing together international and local publishers and practitioners in a weekend of free talks, book launches, performances, and stalls, the fourth Melbourne Art Book Fair (16-18 March) was the perfect launching pad for our book. Not only were the quality of the publications second-to-none, but the strength, solidarity and passion of the participating publishing community was a joy to be amongst.
This was an incredibly meaningful and important project for the members of the Peppimenarti community, as 'Peppimenarti' offers outsiders a glimpse into the community's archives, officially known as Nimbi (old cultural ways), for the first time ever. In the words of Regina Wilson, 'an archive is important so that our cultural ways can never be forgotten. It is for us and our children and their children and the generations to come, but also other communities.'
Equally as important, the creation of this book was a valuable and memorable learning experience for the community in the practical sense. The result of a dedicated community effort, the Peppimenarti community members all participated in the preparation, design and construction of the book. In this way, new skills were learned and knowledge about Nimbi was shared.
We are hoping to engage in more projects like this one in the future. Digital publishing and archiving are high on our community priority list, both as a way of preserving Nimbi and equipping our community members with new life skills. We look forward to sharing this with you!