Djakamirr: Caretaker of Pregnancy

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Requested by you and delivered by Demand Film at the Alice Springs Cinema, we’re proud to host the second screening of this incredibly touching documentary story deriving from the Yolngu people of the Top End.
For Yolŋu First Nations people a djäkamirr- is a caretaker of birth and pregnancy. Djakamirr (doula) are skilled companions providing crucial cultural, emotional and physical support, information and resources to pregnant women before, during and after childbirth.
For over 60,000 years Yolŋu childbirth happened on-country with skilled djäkamirr- midwifery caretakers -using ancestral wisdom and bush technologies to support women and babies. Yolŋu flourished.
Since the recent arrival of Western missionaries in the 1920s and the removal of childbirth to hospital, Yolŋu have been suffering. Women are now disconnected from their support systems and the region has profound health inequities including the highest rate of preterm birth in Australia.
DJÄKAMIRR is a privileged insight into the aspirations of remote First Nations communities to reclaim their birthing culture from the stronghold of Western medicine; and be part of the solutions to improve health. Filmed over a two year period on-country in Arnhem Land, the documentary is a rare invitation to experience Yolŋu women’s culture and hear their aspirations for maternity services. This is a journey of hope, demonstrating that when Yolŋu and Balanda (non-Yolŋu) Australians work together, positive change and community empowerment is possible.
The documentary is a creative output from the Caring for Mum on Country project.

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