Digital repatriation

Tomorrow Kimberly Christen (WSU) will give a talk at the University of Washington on the Mukurtu Indigenous Archive Tool and repatriation of indigenous knowledge in digital form.

Abstract, from the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities calendar:

Kimberly Christen
Simpson Center Event Open and Shut: Digital Repatriation and the Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge
Thursday, Apr. 14, 2011 - 3:00 PM
Odegaard 220

Over the last 15 years Indigenous communities have been at the forefront in the debates over and creation of digital technologies as tools for both the preservation and production of cultural materials. Indigenous digital media productions, software, archival platforms, websites, and web portals are conscious applications of traditional cultural protocols to bend technology and redefine legal and social frameworks to meet specific cultural ends. This presentation looks specifically at the Mukurtu Indigenous Archive Tool as a way to set indigenous cultural protocols as the default mode for digital curation and therefore produce an ethical format for the repatriation and circulation of indigenous knowledge in its digital form. In this way, this presentation seeks to redefine the contours of openness and emphasize the necessity of both open and shut models of digital circulation.

Kimberly Christen is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University. Since 1995, she has worked with Warumungu people in the Northern Territory of Australia, on a range of community projects such as writing a community history, producing digital video and audio recordings, and compiling archival data for use in the interpretive displays.

From the project website:

Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too)

1. A free and open source community archive platform that provides international standards-based content management tools adaptable to the local cultural protocols and intellectual property systems of indigenous communities, libraries, archives, and museums.

2. A flexible and robust archival platform that creates an interface between source communities and collecting institutions facilitating the exchange and circulation of collections materials, metadata, and indigenous knowledge.

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