What to Expect at Parrtjima 2020

Parrtjima Festival

Get ready to see the Northern Territory in a different light.

The MacDonnell Ranges will once again be illuminated under the outback’s starry night sky as Parrtjima, the free festival that showcases contemporary and traditional Indigenous art, culture and storytelling using light and sound, returns for 2020.

Curated by Rhoda Roberts, a Widjubul woman whose CV includes First Nations progamming at Sydney Opera House and directing the Boomerang Festival, Parrtjima is the only festival in the world that presents work and stories from the oldest continuing culture on earth to a new generation in this format.

Parrtjima’s 2020 theme is "Lifting Our Spirits", with a focus on water, the cosmos and country. Every illumination, art installation and event in the festival’s 10-day program is framed by this concept.

Parrtjima Festival

Held in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the home of Arrernte people, the festival’s schedule includes performances by Archie Roach, Shellie Morris and DJ Karnage, as well as workshops, film screenings, conversations and performances.

The ranges, located just outside Alice Springs, the surrounding desert and scrubland will be blanketed in a field of light, with displays created by Arrente artists and other people from across the Central Desert. Highlights include a giant glowing sphere suspended three metres in the air that showcases Greg McAdam’s work Grass Seeds; Yam Dreaming by Rachel Wallace, a four-metre flower; and an eight-metre-tall emu inspired by Lachlan Dodds-Watson’s painting Emu Laying Eggs at Night

Parrtjima runs between 6:30pm-10:30pm from 3-12 April at Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall, Alice Springs.

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