River Voice: Murrundi / Murray River

Murrundi / Murray River
Performed by Clyde Rigney Jnr, Tangane/Yaralde Ngarrindjeri, from Murrundi and Kurangk, South Australia
Co-written + co-directed by Clyde Rigney Jnr, Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell
Produced by Carl Kuddell and Jen Lyons-Reid
Recorded and edited by Change Media
©2023 Change Media

About the work 

This video was specially commissioned for A river that flows both ways: Selected works from the 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus. For rīvus Artistic Director José Roca, an important part of making an exhibition exploring water was to invite selected rivers to become ‘participants’ in it: “The rivers will be represented by ancestral custodians or contemporary custodians that will speak on their behalf.” 

The Murrundi / Murray River, which includes the Kurangk (Coorong), Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region, is one of Australia’s most important wetland areas. Supported by SA Water, ACE collaborated with Clyde Rigney Jnr (Tangane/Yaralde Ngarrindjeri) and Change Media to speak on the Murrundi’s behalf in the local version of this significant international project.

“Our waters are not healthy.

Introduced management systems continue to severely damage Murrundi and the Kurangk.

The impacts are affecting our rights as Ngarrindjeri to remain Ngarrindjeri.

Everything is connected: If our rivers die, we die.

The River Murray is a colonial delusion, it is Murrundi who sustains us.

We urgently need to come to terms with Murrundi, with each other, for future generations to be healthy.”

–     Murrundi / Murray River transcript

Clyde Rigney Jnr

Clyde Rigney Jnr, director Ngarrindjeri Namawi Consulting, is a Tangane/Yaralde Ngarrindjeri man, writer, cultural awareness educator and former CEO of the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, the peak representative body of the Ngarrindjeri nation. A long-term Change Media collaborator, Clyde co-produced the Ngarrindjeri Culture Hub and Change Media’s 8-part award-winning ABC series Ngarrindjeri Shorts. His work builds on texts and multi-channel installations for Contested Space (featured on SBS world news Feb 2021) as part of '_this breath is not mine to keep’, and The Colony shown at the South Coast Regional Arts Centre 2019-21 and Murray Bridge Gallery 2018 and a presentation at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas 2018. Clyde was also a key advisor on our Murrundi documentary Flow - Life giving lands and waters.

Production company: Tallstoreez Productionz trading as Change Media

Change Media established a unique multi-disciplinary practice across community arts, broadcast media and live art, to creatively address social justice, intersectionality and climate crises. Since 2002, Change Media runs nationally acclaimed, multi-award winning CACD initiatives, in over 500 workshops with over 10,000 participants. Based on Ngarrindjeri country in regional South Australia, their team has worked with remote, regional and urban communities, including collaborations with Ngarrindjeri since 1994, Arts Access Victoria, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Bell Shakespeare Co, Arts Front, FedSquare, SA Film Corporation, Country Arts SA and diverse local councils, youth, arts, health and justice organizations, state and federal government departments. Change Media’s collaborative CACD work has featured on ABC, SBS and NITV, and formed part of two ARC Linkage Research Grants.

Their experimental and x-media works include cross-cultural collaborations on _this breath is not mine to keep, The Colony – dare to stop us, What Privilege?, FedSquare’s Light in Winter, PVI’s ‘tts australia’, public projections for Adelaide City Council + ANAT, Adelaide Fringe, Nexus Arts, TarraWarra Biennale and the Ngarrindjeri Culture Hub. They produced four factual series for ABC and SBS, dozens of acclaimed human rights documentaries and group exhibitions alongside cross-cultural + critical literacy resources and interactive websites.

Awards and key festivals include: SA Screen Award 2021, Oxford Film Festival winner 2020, Adelaide Festival of Ideas 2018, International Melbourne WebFest winner 2016; River Award 2015, MyHero International Film Fest Los Angeles 2020, 2012 + 2010; SA NAIDOC Award 2011, Banksia Finalist 2010; Our Community Kookaburra Award 2010 for Best National Community Project; SA Screen Awards Digital Innovation ‘09; AIMIA Finalist ‘07; ATOM Best Education ‘06; Audience Choice and Best Docu SA Screen Awards ‘05, Transmediale Berlin, Melbourne Underground Film Festival, International Human Rights Film Festival London + New York, Seoul Human Rights International Festival. 

ACE tampinthi, ngadlu Kaurna yartangka panpapanpalyarninthi (inparrinthi). Kaurna miyurna yaitya mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku. Parnaku yailtya, parnaku tapa purruna, parnaku yarta ngadlu tampnthi. Yalaka Kaurna miyurna itu yailtya, tapa purruna, yarta kuma puru martinthi, puru warri-apinthi, puru tangka martulayinthi.

ACE respectfully acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.