Parrtjima - said to be the meeting place where old meets new - is the only authentic Aboriginal festival of its kind. Taking place in early April in Central Australia, the festival showcases the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology, all on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges.
Each year, for six years running, the free festival celebrates artists evolution and experimentation with different styles and materials, while staying true to Country and culture. Held on Mparntwe (Alice Springs), visitors are encouraged to experience Parrtjima, and watch the desert come alive with new artworks, light shows and a program of performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks.
The 2021 program which has just been released, will see returning acts Electric Fields and Casey Donovan joined by artists Miiesha, MusicNT’s Divas, Jimblah, Bow and Arrow, Dobby, OKA, Ziggy Ramo and Shellie Morris.
Alongside musical acts, Parrtjima 2021 will see large-scale light installations, artworks, performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks woven into the program as part of the 2021 theme ‘Future Kultcha’.
“Enabling young guest curators such as Electric Fields and Rhyan Clapham, aka Dobby, to play a part in this year’s program gives a distinct voice of the next generation and their connection to the ancient footprints of their ancestors,” 2021 Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO said. “When you combine the masters with the emerging, you see a sense of a holistic culture and knowledge that is relevant to everyone in the 21st century.”
As part of the talks program, critically acclaimed speakers will be hosting conversations. Among which, will be award-winning writer Bruce Pascoe, artists Jungala Kriss and Raymond Walters Japanangka, and Professor Marcia Langton AM.
“The 2021 program signifies a coming-of-age for the event as it enters its sixth year,” Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford said. “We are thrilled with the program’s offerings, including everything from impressive new largescale light installations and musical performances to workshops, talks, films, and of course, our unmissable light show against the MacDonnell Ranges at Alice Springs Desert Park." he continued. “Parrtjima is a must-do for any traveller’s bucket list and I look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the heart of Australia for this iconic festival in light.”
Parrtjima takes place from 9-18 April 2021 in Alice Springs. You can find out more or register for the Desert Park festival site and Araluen Arts Centre program elements, via the Parrtjima website.