Awavena is a true story with all the power of myth. It tells the story of Hushahu, the first woman Shaman of the Yawanawa, and of the radical reconfiguring of gender relations that takes place following her induction into the Yawanawa spiritual traditions, by the tribe’s spiritual leader Tata. The 100 year old Shaman, had lived through slavery and survived the cultural destitution wrought by missionaries. He foresaw the challenges on the horizon for the diminished population of the Yawanawa and eventually came to believe that their future strength relied on power being shared with women.

Emmy-winning Director Lynette Wallworth collaborated with the Indigenous story tellers of the Yawanawa tribe to create Awavena, using cutting edge VR technology to create the next generation of VR and mixed reality non-fiction experience. This immersive VR experience is designed to take two visitors at a time on a virtual journey into the spirit world, capturing fluorescent specimens in previously unseen colours from the forest world, experienced in VR. Presented by Carriageworks and Create NSW.

Production still, Awavena, Lynette Wallworth, 2018