an NFSA website

Desert Tracks (1997)


A film that speaks about the Pitjantjatjara people’s efforts to preserve vital cultural information in order to care for land by turning to tourism.

Curator’s notes

Desert Tracks documents the Pitjantjatjara people’s desire to retain their traditional culture. 'Desert Tracks’, a business initiated without government funding, is a community’s attempt to sustain itself culturally, and is an important initiative in the context of self-determination.

Episodic in structure, Desert Tracks is a great promotion for a community-driven initiative to achieve the cultural preservation of the Pitjantjatjara people. A genuine love of land, and the kindred relationship to it, is woven through this documentary, and the need to communicate the importance of land to tourists is done with patience and tenderness. The responsibility of caring for land is central to the business initiative undertaken by the Pitjantjatjara people, and to have this cultural perspective effectively communicated to and received by tourists is all part of the work of the Pitjantjatjara custodians. The outcome intended is that all folk share a common respect for the land and value the ecology equally.