In December, Westerly published an eighth Online Special Issue: ‘Ancestors’ Words’. We were delighted to have Kim Scott and our own Editor for Indigenous Writing, Elfie Shiosaki, edit the issue, in a project that united letters written by Noongar people in the State Archives with the descendants of the letter-writers. The editors worked with the descendants, in preparation for the issue, workshopping stories drawn from the archive to form a collection ‘created by descendants of letter writers, collaborating to recontextualise the integrity of archival records with Noongar knowledge and to reclaim the stories within them’ (Editorial).
Now, the contributors have brought their writing to a further audience through the Ancestors’ Words podcast! Here, the rich voices featured in the Online Special Issue are made resonant in the hearing, with written material brought into the moment, and further nuances and emotions evoked. We are very grateful to the five contributors for further sharing their stories in this way, bringing to life the archive, and a more truthful and fruitful way of engaging with history. Thanks to Irma Woods, Elfie Shiosaki, Jeannie Morrison, Darryl Kickett and Cassie Lynch for your passion and generosity in sharing your stories!
Part One features four of the writers reading their work and discussing the writing process. Listen below or via Soundcloud!
Click here for Part Two of this podcast, with Jeannie Morrison reading her moving story, ‘Jack and Ruby’.
The Ancestors’ Words Project is based at Curtin University and funded by the Australia Research Council. Westerly would like to acknowledge support from the Australia Council, Culture and the Arts WA (the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries), and the University of Western Australia in the publication of the ‘Ancestors’ Words’ OSI and podcast.