From Hidden into Light: The MIRA Canning Stock Route Archive launches

CoDA is proud to announce the launch in Perth, Australia of a united, tri-continental effort:

MIRA Canning Stock Route Project Archive


As its name suggests in Martu Wangka, Mira literally ‘brings the hidden into the light’ by creating public access to a remarkable collection of oral histories, images, videos and cultural content. Released as an evolving archive, Mira currently contains around 10,000 items. By its completion in December, Mira will contain over 10,000 videos, more than 300 oral histories, 20,000 images as well as a huge range of cultural research, historical data and curated digital heritage items. The inherent richness of the archive will allow users to explore, either casually or at great depth, the extraordinary social and cultural history of the Canning Stock Route, and of the desert Country it intersects. It represents a vital resource for anyone interested in art, Australian and Indigenous history, culture and digital storytelling.

Just like the old people, we are dreaming. We have a new dream with technology. We’re using the newest technology with the oldest culture. - Curtis Taylor, Emerging Aboriginal filmmaker, cultural adviser

Mira has been developed as a groundbreaking collaboration between FORM and the Center for Digital Archaeology at UC Berkeley, leveraging the Mukurtu CMS community archive platform. MIRA represents one of the biggest and most accessible digital archiving project of Indigenous cultural content in the world. Built to the highest digital archiving standards, Mira’s archival quality content will be hosted on the Western Australian supercomputer system iVEC and available for access and use by the general public in accordance with licenses developed in consultation with communities. Approved commercial projects using material from the archive will return 90% of all profits to participating art centers across Australia’s Western Desert.

Kiki and the pearl shell [STORY]

For MIRA, we had to completely reinvent our concepts of digital media, data and archiving into something much more holistic, much deeper and more meaningful. It is rare when a project completely transforms a practice – MIRA has done this by creating a living place where communities can meet, curate and care for their digital heritage through a platform and partnerships that will assure the long term sustainability of this exciting achievement. – Michael Ashley, Project Architect

CSR has won awards for its traveling exhibition “Yiwarra Kuju”, and has just released the beautifully designed “One Road” iPad App, a virtual journey on the Canning Stock Route. MIRA was designed as a web-interfaced archive to bring the combined efforts of Australian artists and curators back into the hands and the homes of the people of the Canning Stock Route; the people who brought forth the stories, artworks, and oral histories upon which this project was built. The goal: that these stories and artworks are not lost to time, space, or political boundaries, but can be shared and preserved for future generations.

We set out to return the content generated over the life of the Project to the 17 Aboriginal communities who are the heart of this whole initiative but their desire to share their cultural knowledge with the world has led to something vastly more profound. Mira and One Road are the result. – Monique La Fontaine, Project leader

Many have travelled the Canning Stock Route. MIRA steps off the route and reveals the multi-dimensional history of the Route and Bush, brought together in a sustainable digital landscape.

This project is co-funded by the Australian Government under T-QUAL Grants and is supported by Lotterywest, the Department of Culture and the Arts and the Australian Government’s Indigenous Cultural Support Program. The Principal and Founding Partner of Ngurra Kuju Walyja – the Canning Stock Route Project is BHP Billiton.

For more information please contact:

Mollie Hewitt, MIRA Project Manager [FORM]

E: T +61 8 9226 2799 M +61 422 711 295

Elena Toffalori, MIRA Project Manager [CoDA]





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