As I have been going through my archives I realised that my travelling along the long road to the north did not start with the trip to Lajamanu as I had previously thought. I had actually been to Andamooka twice on roadtrips. The first road trip to Andamooka was in the 1990s where I had made a few photos. I then returned to Andamooka around 2001 with Suzanne and we stayed there for several days. I had more time to photograph the landscape.
Andamooka, South Australia
The above image comes from the earlier trip in the 1990s. This was on my own–a road trip in the VW Kombi. It was a basically break from writing the PhD on Heidegger at Flinders University of South Australia. Judging from the archives only a few photos were made on the 1990s roadtrip. Continue reading →
There were several photographers amongst Judith’s friends–Juno Gemes, Helga Leunig as well as Judith herself, who had published her book The Lumen Seed. Judith had a keen grasp of Lajamanu as a dynamic place with a history from her previous visits. I only knew Lajamanu from googling photos on the internet. It was just a fixed location situated on a map for me.
I was the novice photographer on this trip. I intended to keep a low profile as I was very ambivalent about being a white photographer taking photos of the Wilpiri people in Lajamanu.
I had previously traveled parts of this country on road trips previously: the Goyder Highway, Port Augusta and then on to the Eyre Peninsula, or to Woomera and Andamooka in South Australia. But I’d never driven up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs. Though I’d travelled around Central Australia as a tourist in the 1970s I’d never been to Cooper Pedy, driven on the Tanami Track, or been to Lajamanu. I knew nothing about the Tanami Desert.