Following the Nyinkka: Relations of Respect and Obligations to Act in the Collaborative Work of Aboriginal Cultural Centers


  • Kimberly Christen


In July 2003 the Warumungu Aboriginal community opened the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, Australia. Nyinkka Nyunyu is a Warumungu community center, museum, and tourist destination. As such it embodies the eclectic and practical modalities of Aboriginal business. This article examines the practices of Aboriginal representation and self-determination through the behind-the-scenes work of community consultation, collaboration, and culturemaking. Looking to existing social relations and systems of obligation, the Warumungu community's production of the visual displays for the Centre demonstrates the interdependent networks forged out of a colonial history of displacement and a present trajectory of alliance-building.