Lighting up a 300-Million-Year-Old Canvas near Alice Springs

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 2019.

Curated by Rhoda Roberts, 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.

Coinciding with the United Nation’s Year of Indigenous Languages, Parrtjima’s 2019 theme is "language expressions". Every illumination, art installation and event in the festival’s 10-day program is framed by this concept.

Held in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the home of Arrernte people, the festival’s schedule includes performances by 2019 Young Australian of the Year, indigenous hip hop artist Danzal Baker (known as Baker Boy), 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 Angkentye Ampe-kenhe – The Language of Children,  an enormous maze for children to explore; Angkentye Anpernirrentye-kerte – The Language of Kin, a soundscaped, illuminated tunnel for visitors to walk through that honours the Arrernte people and their kinship system; and Angkentye Arrpenhe – The Language of Change, a series of three "bush taxis" that represent notions of change.

Parrtjima runs between 6:30pm-10:30pm from the 5-14 April at Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall, Alice Springs.

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