Monday, 28 August 2017 11:38

'You are here' SBS launches new interactive indigenous documentary: K’gari


Indigenous storytelling is continuing across the SBS network, with the launch of its new interactive documentary, K’gari, today, being a prime example.

K’gari is produced by SBS’s Walkley Award winning team, and the team behind the voice-activated documentary game, My Grandmother’s Lingo, and is “told by internationally-acclaimed artist Fiona Foley with academic Larissa Behrendt and features Miranda Otto in the role of Eliza Fraser".

Tapping right into the zeitgeist to illuminate the past, we’re told that “K’gari tells the story of one of the first alleged ‘fake news’ stories to be circulated across Australia, the ‘capture’ of British woman Eliza Fraser by Aboriginal people on Fraser Island (K’gari) in 1836".

The explanation continues: “Eliza was a passenger on her husband Captain James Fraser’s ship, the Stirling Castle, which struck reef hundreds of kilometers north of Fraser Island. She claims to have been captured by Aboriginal people when in fact she was taken in and cared for by the Butchulla people when shipwrecked.

“The story of Eliza Fraser’s ‘capture’ has been reinterpreted by many Australian writers and artists; however an Indigenous version of the story remains largely unheard. The counterpoints to Eliza’s version reveal a complex example of cross-cultural miscommunication and conflict.”

SBS says its online documentary “reclaims the story of Eliza Fraser’s arrival on K’gari from Fiona Foley’s perspective as a Butchulla woman of the Wondunna clan. The story reveals Fiona’s family’s version of events and explores the contemporary ramifications of the ‘capture’ myth in a rich interactive documentary featuring immersive animation by Indigenous illustrator Tori-Jay Mordey.”

Through the interactive documentary, SBS explains that “the user will witness the clashing versions of events from Fiona and Eliza’s perspectives and will be required to unleash the natural forces of the island of K’gari, including lightening, ocean and sand, to eliminate Eliza’s words and progress the story".

NITV channel manager Tanya Orman said: “NITV is dedicated to providing its community with a voice and this interactive documentary, K’gari shares an important Indigenous perspective on this historic news story.”

To complement the online interactive, SBS Learn has teamed up with Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program, to develop freely accessible and engaging classroom resources linked to the curriculum, as part of its broader You Are Here educational resources. The resource is available on SBS Learn

The conversation can be joined on social media using the hasHtag #YouAreHere

The online interactive animation can be accessed here at the SBS K’gari site


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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