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Sarah Mashman

Missing in the outback

How long could you survive in Summer, in the desert, without water? It’s a question that none of us would want put to the test.

In January 2013, five Pitjantjatjara women, artists aged between their fifties and eighties drove out into the Gibson desert with just enough water for tea for the day. They were due back that evening, but when darkness fell, the close-knit, remote community realised that the five women were still missing.

The artists relied on their knowledge of tjukurpa, sacred stories of culture, to guide them to water, across land that was parched and burnt.

Warning: In this program you will hear the name of someone who has passed away.

Duration: 27min 53sec

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