YIRRAMBOI Festival celebrates First Nations creatives

YIRRAMBOI Festival. Photo by Mark Gambino.

Arts Centre Melbourne is excited to be involved with YIRRAMBOI Festival again in 2021, delivering a variety of projects that will engage and inspire from 6 – 16 May.

YIRRAMBOI is Australia’s premier First Nations and cultural festival, gracing the city every two years with a range of events across music, dance, theatre, film, exhibitions, talks and symposiums. Arts Centre Melbourne’s ongoing collaboration with YIRRAMBOI Festival is an important one, built on the dedication to embrace the insights and culture of our First Nation’s communities.

“Providing spaces for our First Nation’s communities to create, share and inspire is incredibly important,” said Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer AM. “Our venues sit on the lands of the Kulin Nations, and we are dedicated to the processes of listening and healing as we work toward a future where Indigenous culture is front and centre. We’ve collaborated with YIRRAMBOI Festival in previous years, and we’re excited to develop the relationship even further with our programming this May.”

Arts Centre Melbourne’s YIRRAMBOI offerings include Bighouse DreamingHistory Salon: Celebrating 30 Years of ILBIJERRI and Yulendji.

Declan Furber Gillick’s award-winning work, Bighouse Dreaming, will run at the Fairfax Studio from 5 – 9 May, exploring themes of Australia’s judicial system and the challenges that face Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

History Salon will return, this year celebrating 30 years of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, with a vibrant collection of monologues, community testimonials and storytelling led by a panel of ILBIJERRI’s founding members, supported by the ILBIJERRI Ensemble and creating a space to come together at The Pavilion on 12 May.

Yulendji will explore the past, present and future of the ancient and evolving Birrarung-marr (Yarra River) in sound from a trio of accomplished sound creatives, Allara (Yorta Yorta), Theo McMahon (Bundjalung) and James Howard (Jaadwa). The soundscape will play along the walkway between Hamer Hall and the Theatres Building on St Kilda Road over the course of the festival.

With Creative Director Caroline Martin (Boonwurrung and Wemba Wemba) at the helm, the Festival is set to celebrate and demonstrate innovative, modern practices of First Nations creatives, showcasing unique talents and perspectives.

“YIRRAMBOI means ‘tomorrow’ in the shared local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woiwurring peoples, and this year’s program is all about what’s next,” said YIRRAMBOI Creative Director Caroline Martin. “After the year that was 2020, providing opportunities for First Nations creatives to look forward could not be more critical. When you immerse yourself in the many free and paid events, you will be a part of the first live audience that many of our creatives have had in more than 12 months, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you.”

The YIRRAMBOI Festival will be held 6 – 16 May. For more information, visit yirramboi.com.au

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