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Dipped in Black: Film screening during Reconciliation Week

Film screening during Reconciliation Week

Sonder facilitates exclusive screening of Marungka Tjalatjunu ‘Dipped in Black’ with Film Director and Writer, Derik Lynch

As an organisation firmly embedded within local communities, Sonder seizes every opportunity to actively listen, learn and be guided by the voices of the community.

Each year, Sonder celebrates National Reconciliation Week by attending community events and facilitating cultural learning opportunities for staff. This year, inspired by the 2023 national campaign theme, ‘Be a Voice,’ Sonder hosted a special film screening for staff on Friday 26 May at The Piccadilly, North Adelaide, on Kaurna Country.

Coordinated by Sonder’s Reconciliation Action Plan Project Team, this exclusive event provided attendees the privilege of viewing the short film documentary, Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black), followed by an engaging panel discussion with the film’s Director and Writer, Derik Lynch, and Producer, Patrick Graham.

Derik shared his personal experiences and the process of translating those experiences to film, as well as what it means to him to be a voice for generations. Attendees thoroughly enjoyed this invaluable opportunity to engage in respectful and inclusive conversations that enriched their cultural understanding.

 

After the screening, Patrick Graham and Derik Lynch discuss their film, Dipped in Black with facilitators, Schania Czygan (Indigenous Health Project Officer, Sonder) and Ben Headlam (Mental Health Programs Manager & Risk & Clinical Governance Manager, Sonder)

 

Insights from Director and Writer of ‘Dipped in Black,’ Derik Lynch

The film, Dipped in Black portrays the struggles faced by Aboriginal people as they navigate the transition from remote communities to urban life. The panel discussion following the screening offered valuable insights, particularly as Derik delved into the ubiquitous challenges entailed in bridging these contrasting worlds. This delicate balance between remaining in community and rooted in cultural heritage, or venturing into the city for education and occupational prospects exemplifies the complexity of the decision.

Speaking of his connection to Country, Derik expressed, “That’s where I get my strength. It’s my safe place.” Maintaining a strong connection to Country is vital to Derik’s wellbeing. Growing up, he spent a lot of his time going out bush and learning how to navigate the land. Whenever Derik returns to Country, he finds it reaffirms his sense of identity and recharges his wellbeing.

Capturing the power of this connection to Country was of utmost importance to Derik in creating the film. On Country, Aboriginal people can safely practice culture and maintain strong social support, whilst in the city, they often encounter discrimination and feelings of isolation which can lead to poor or worsening mental health outcomes. To foster a more inclusive environment for Aboriginal people visiting urban areas, Derik recommends enhancing the accessibility of culturally appropriate emotional wellbeing and community services, which necessitates improving cultural awareness in these spaces.

 

Derik Lynch, Director and Writer of 'Dipped in Black,' short documentary film explains the significance of depicting the impact of connection to Country.
Derik Lynch, Director and Writer of ‘Dipped in Black,’ short documentary film, explains the significance of depicting the impact of connection to Country.

 

Dipped in Black serves as a sincere and authentic portrayal of life in remote communities while emphasising the profound significance of Aboriginal cultures. It also showcases the potential of film as a medium for cultivating cultural awareness and understanding.

Derik deliberately chose to share the Yankunytjatjara language, along with lessons on Tjukurpa (Anangu lore) and Sorry Business, in the film, hoping to inspire audiences to deepen their appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal cultural knowledge and diverse perspectives. These rare glimpses into Aboriginal cultures, traditions and spirituality are precious gifts that should never be taken for granted.

This event provided a powerful platform for community voices to be heard and celebrated. A clear highlight of Reconciliation Week 2023, it helped to further strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and their colleagues at Sonder.

Sonder extends sincere gratitude to Derik Lynch and Patrick Graham for their participation in this event, graciously sharing an exclusive viewing of Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black).

We highly encourage you to keep an eye out for screenings of Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black) during the film festival season later this year. To find out more about the film, visit switchproductions.com.au/dipped-in-black and watch the trailer here.

 

Learn more about Reconciliation Action at Sonder

Through events like these, Sonder aims to strengthen the sense of community within the organisation, become a more culturally safe and competent workplace and contribute to the ongoing journey of reconciliation in Australia.

To read our Reconciliation Action Plan, click here.