NAIDOC Week 2020 roundup

Happy NAIDOC Week, everyone! This week we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements. Here at Collage, we have rounded up a few works by First Nations creators that we have been loving recently to mark the week. Enjoy! #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe

The 2020 NAIDOC Week poster designed by Tyrown Wagana

Poetry — Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today, edited by Alison Whitaker

Over this week I’ve been enjoying reading Fire Front, a collection of poetry from First Nations poets edited by Gomeroi poet and academic Alison Whittaker. The mix of poetry and essays creates a compelling blend of scholarship and feeling. It features poetry from writers I’ve loved for a long time, like Oodgeroo Noonuccal or Alexis Wright, as well as writers I’m just discovering, like Evelyn Araluen. — Brydie Kosmina

Painting — Liltjin by Pauline Sunfly

The highlight for me from last year’s Tarnanthi exhibition was the work of Pauline Sunfly depicting the Western Desert. The forms and lines were memorably bold and vibrant while simultaneously being a representation of the landscape, one blending seamlessly into the other. I’m looking forward to what Tarnanthi 2020 has in store. — Tin Do

Read Collage coverage of Tarnanthi 2020 here, or a 2018 interview with Tarnanthi curator Nici Cumpston here.

Theatre — Black Is The New White by Nakkiah Lui

Don’t despair if you missed Nakkiah Lui’s incisive and hilarious race-relations romantic comedy play Black Is The New White on stage — the script is available for you to read from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you happen to be sheltering from the events of 2020. While it’s not quite the same as having Miranda Tapsell and Luke Carroll in the room with you, you won’t regret diving into this funny, fast-paced and thought-provoking tale, including a foreword by the playwright. — Matilda Handsley-Davis

Read the full Collage review of Black Is The New White on stage here.

Album — Nyaaringu by Miiesha

I really love Miiesha’s first album, Nyaaringu. It was recommended to me by multiple people, and I immediately became obsessed. She has the most beautiful voice and I love the spoken word interludes. You can listen to Nyaaringu here on Spotify. — Natalie Carfora

Documentary — Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, directed by Nel Minchin & Wayne Blair

Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra was my highlight of the Adelaide Film Festival, and one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Celebrating the highlights of the past thirty years, this film follows the company’s triumphs and their significant losses along the way. Told with so much heart, Firestarter tenderly explores grief, and the significance that contemporary dance has had within Indigenous Australian culture. I highly urge you to attend a screening upon its cinematic release in February next year. — Milly Farmer

Read the full Collage review of Firestarter here.

Exhibition — Reflections: Connecting to Country through Art, University of Adelaide Library/Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education

The Reflections: Connecting to Country through Art exhibition in the Ira Raymond room at the University of Adelaide showcases a collection of works by Indigenous artists selected by Indigenous staff and students of the university. I happened upon it while studying for exams and it proved a wonderful escape! There are some beautiful pieces on display here, a wide variety of styles and mediums for such a small exhibition – I especially enjoyed reading the reflections of the students and staff explaining why each piece was chosen, from personal reasons linked to identity to how a piece evoked the memory of a particular time, place or issue. — Katerina Grypma

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