Dr. Lisa Stefanoff holds M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D degrees from the New York University Department of Anthropology Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology / Culture and Media where she was a McCracken Fellow. She is also a screen culture curator and filmmaker with qualifications in Documentary Film Production and History from the Department of Cinema Studies and the Film Department, NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Lisa’s research and her professional media production and curatorial work explore contemporary forms of Indigenous cultural survival globally and their intercultural and intergenerational dynamics, with a special focus on media and art from central Australia. Since 2002, Lisa has been based in Alice Springs and Darwin where she has undertaken a range of field research and professional projects with a wide variety of Indigenous and community media and art organisations for national and international broadcasters and art events.
Lisa’s doctoral research focused on the history of film, radio and music production at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), where she worked on award-winning documentary films as the Production Manager and Distribution Manager in the Film and Television Productions division (2002-2006). As Editor and Coordinating Editor at National Indigenous Publisher IAD Press (2007-2010), Lisa played key roles in the publication of award-winning art, biography, children’s, traditional knowledge and history books, as well as Aboriginal language dictionaries and picture dictionaries. As Post-doctoral Research Fellow on the CRC-Remote Economic Participation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Economies project (UniSA, 2011-2012) Lisa investigated the sustainability of remote Aboriginal community artist participation in the global art market with a special focus on the livelihoods of desert artists working outside of the community art centre model.
Lisa has served as a member of the NT Arts Grants Board, the Alice Springs Town Council Public Art Advisory Committee, InCite Youth Arts [Chair], and the Watch This Space ARI Organising Committee. In Alice Springs she produced and presented a weekly arts radio program, co-produced the Art~Land~Culture Ideas Incubator, created and presented the Lens Flair Central Australian Short Film Workshops and Competition for ScreenNT (Northern Territory Film Office), and curated the annual Alice Springs Cinema in the River, as well as other national screen events.
Dr Stefanoff’s DECRA project Moving Stories: Emerging Documentary Desert Painting and Interactive New Media will investigate the interactive digital possibilities for artworks created by central Australian Aboriginal women, including paintings produced in some of the most disadvantaged and marginal zones of Alice Springs. She will be working with artists, Aboriginal media-makers and other researchers in the new NIEA labs to design interactive animations out of still ‘documentary paintings’ in order to build new audiences for these crucial cultural narratives beyond the Indigenous art-commodity market. Documentation and analysis of the paintings will trace the emergence of these desert ‘insider’ social narratives as key intercultural mediators in post-colonial public culture.
Lisa joins colleagues in the Visual Anthropology program at NIEA focused on developing long-term practice-led community capacity building research partnerships in fields of Indigenous knowledge, art and culture. Her DECRA project articulates with research she has been developing since 2012 as part of the multi-arts initiative Same but Different: Innovation and Experimentation in Desert Arts, a partnership with NIEA ARC Future Fellow Dr Jennifer Biddle and the Central Australian Aboriginal Art Centres peak body Desart Inc. UNSW Galleries will host the Same but Different lll forum and exhibition May 15- August 15, 2015.
Lisa also holds an Honorary Associate position in the School of Creative Arts and Humanities at Charles Darwin University and is an Associate of the ANU Centre for Visual Anthropology.