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First Nations festival provides 'step towards truth-telling and treaty'

Culture

Clancestry once again invites people to celebrate one of the oldest cultures in the world. Its tenth iteration will see a programme of live performance, workshops, and activism in a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and country.

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The First Nations arts and culture festival will run for three weeks in February 2022, beginning with a National Apology event to reflect on the 14 years since Kevin Rudd’s formal apology to the Stolen Generations.

Music activists will take the stage in BLAKTIVISM, an event exploring issues of sovereignty, police brutality, and oppression with acclaimed musicians Bart Willoughby, Tasman Keith, Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe, Barkaa and Ancestress.

The Festival is dedicated to providing a space for spiritual connection and connection to country from clan groups near and far.

It also provides workshops, talks, and conferences to support Indigenous creatives to generate new works and develop the sector from Indigenous perspectives.

A week-long writing intensive will be held for First Nations playwrights to develop new scripts, while Queenmode Collective will hold workshops and conversations for the local First Nations community.

The programme has a history of showcasing rising stars in music and performance, with last year’s Festival programming Aishya and Beddy Rays to play their Green Jam series.

2022’s Blak Green Jam will feature renowned singer-songwriter Joe Geia, and soul aficionado Rochelle Pitt.

Barkaa performing at Blaktivism 2021 (Image: Supplied)

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Clancestry 2022 would showcase the creativity and experiences of First Nations Peoples heritage, history, country and culture.

“QPAC’s Clancestry 2022 program will serve as an important step in our journey towards truth-telling and treaty,” Enoch said.

“The Queensland Government supports QPAC to share stories, celebrate storytellers and elevate First Nations arts and renew the state through arts, culture and creativity.

“As the only state in Australia that is home to both Aboriginal cultures and Torres Strait Islander cultures, we have a unique opportunity to build the awareness, understanding and contributions of First Nations arts globally.

“Importantly, Clancestry also encourages and inspires professional development, promotes cultural exchange for First Nations artists, and supports career pathways for artists and arts workers.”

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas acknowledged the significance of QPAC’s location.

“A brighter future begins with acknowledging and understanding the past. This stretch of the river has always been a place to gather, to tell stories, and to exchange ideas,” Mr Kotzas said.

“As a public institution, QPAC has a responsibility to honour this history as a welcoming and safe space for First Nations People to create and share their culture.

“This three-week program is the culmination of a broader commitment to healing and deepening our connection with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

“Year-round we support the development and presentation of First Nations work and seek to create career pathways throughout the organisation.”

Clancestry will run for three weeks from 14 February to 5 March 2022 at QPAC, for more information visit QPAC’s website. 

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