National Indigenous Television

The Wake

An interactive installation that leverages your phone to remind us that those we’ve lost will always rest in power.
My hope is that you see yourself in our stories of love and loss and how death makes us all the same, but I hope you can also see it makes us different, and that’s okay as well.
Adrian Russell Wills
Wonnarua Nation

Told with humour and bittersweet levity, The Wake is an immersive installation that explores the issues facing Indigenous people from diverse backgrounds, touching on the themes of birth, death, and love.

Produced for Australia’s NITV, the storytellers we collaborated with are performers and writers who share yarns of loss, life, and laughter. For one, it is an ill-timed scratch on a CD that brings tears of laughter in the midst of intense sadness; for someone else, it’s their shared cultural practices that galvanise their community; and for another, it is all about the ritual of making sure they look the part.

Community led

Through writing workshops run by director Adrian Russell Wills and producer Anusha Duray, we witnessed the sharing of poignant stories and heart-warming anecdotes between the contributors, reflecting the notion that funerals are regrettably one of the pillars of cultural knowledge and language sharing in Indigenous communities.

These memories are lifelines imbued with the spirit of ancestry, family, home, and the continuance of one of the oldest living cultures on Earth, brought to life through a blend of traditional storytelling techniques and emerging technology.

Through these deeply personal and vivid recollections, they do more than pay homage to loved ones. They offer us an insight into precious customs and rituals, and sometimes with humour, a family's traditions. They expose our similarities and differences; in birth and death, beliefs, and cultural practice.

The Wake is powered by our multi user Storyteller platform.

...we wanted a space of ceremony and custom, a space that reflected our modern experience, and a space where we could laugh one moment then cry the next, and then stand in stillness.
Adrian Russell Wills
Wonnarua Nation
  • NITV
  • Production
    • Creative Direction, Project Management, Editorial, Workshop Facilitation
  • Design
    • UX, Graphic Design
  • Video
    • Editting, Compositing, Motion Graphics
  • Software
    • WebGL GLSL, PixiJS, Javascript, Node
  • Hardware
    • Projection, Customised Open-WRT Firmware
  • Adrian Russell Wills, Wonnarua Nation
    • Director
  • Daniel Hartley-Allen
    • Director of Photography
  • Teresa Tan
    • Photography
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