Online learning

Cleverman: the exhibition education resource

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Acknowledgement of Country by curator Kat Clarke

We acknowledge the lands of which ACMI stands and we acknowledge the lores of Bunjil to be holistic to the Victorian First Nation people. We are welcoming to guests, respect the lores of Bunjil, do no harm to each other or the land and its creatures, and do no harm to the children. For we are on the custodian lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation and this is a statement acknowledging their communities and all First Nations People of this country who have travelled to visit ACMI and the exhibition. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to all First Nation people past present and future.

Cleverman, the television series, includes two languages, Gumbaynggir and Bundjalung, from Northern NSW. In the exhibition we pay tribute to both of these languages and the people who speak them.

Dreaming stories: “If you listen, then you can see.” 

Listen to the Dreaming stories that helped inspire the series Cleverman.   

  • Listen to one of the stories recorded by Triple J.  Think about the story and its message. In small groups share the story by retelling it in your own words.
  • Listen to Hunter Page-Lochard’s narration of the story of the Cleverman.  Explain the significance and role of the Cleverman 
  • Ryan Griffen drew on Dreaming stories from across Australia to create the narrative  for the Cleverman series.  Listen to Ryan talk about gaining permissions and working with cultural protocols to create the sci-fi series.

Language and culture

Language is a powerful tool and Cleverman is a celebration of language.

  • Watch the Cleverman directors and actors talk about their experience learning and speaking the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggir languages for Cleverman.  What does it mean to them and their community to have an Indigenous language spoken on screen?  Why is it so important to keep language alive?
  • Find out more about Language in Cleverman here.

If you are in Victoria and are interested in learning more about the language local to your area, head to Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.

Character design:  The Hairies

  • Watch “Creating the Hairies” Behind The Scenes. What were some of the key elements production designers had to consider when designing the Hairies?  What were some of the practical considerations involved in making the designs?
  • You can find out more about Cleverman: The Exhibition on the ACMI website. In “Behind the scenes of Cleverman”, you can learn about the creation of costumes, props and SFX for the series.  Create your own comic book cover that includes these elements of production and costume design.  Present your cover and explain why you included these elements in your design.