Returning since its 2016 installment, the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival showcases the diverse expressions of First Nations writers, covering all genres - from speculative fiction to oral stories, kids books to philosophy and from plays to poetry, and more.
With more than 60 artists involved in the 2019 program, the Festival aims to build and broaden the readership and audiences for First Nations writing and storytelling. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artists are well regarded nationally and internationally, Aboriginal literary writers are less well known and the industry is smaller.
“A strong and flourishing literary sector is vital to building cultural identity and pride. The program will be wide and surprising, aimed to delight and expand people’s ideas of the First Nations literary sector, whose writing is relevant and exciting. It is timely that this second iteration of Blak & Bright is happening during the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages,” said Festival Director, artistic curator and playwright Jane Harrison (Muruwari).
Most Blak & Bright sessions will be free and open to the public, with exclusive Masterclasses specifically for First Nations writers to actively support the development of their craft.
View some of the key events being held over the next three days:
Official Opening: Read a Blak Book lately? 6.00 – 7.30pm Friday 6 September, The Wheeler Centre - Free, bookings essential Following the official opening, welcome to country and performance by James Henry, Daniel Browning and Evelyn Araluen will discuss and review some of the latest and greatest Blak books.
Charcoal Lane: Quandong and Magpie 8.00pm-late Saturday 7 September, Charcoal Lane - $100 Enjoy a Rosella flower cocktail on arrival while schmoozing with the Blak & Bright literati (plainly speaking, a big mob) at the acclaimed restaurant and social enterprise Charcoal Lane. Enjoy gourmet Indigenous canapés, music and drinks while the guest speaker, Stan Yarramunua (biography A Man Called Yarra), shares the story of his extraordinary life. This event is a fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. With Stan Yarramunua, Shauntai Bazke and Kylie Belling.
Nocturnal 7.00 – 10.30pm Friday 6 September, Melbourne Museum - $37 Full / $32 Concession Blak & Bright and Melbourne Writers Festival team up with Melbourne Museum to present an extra special Nocturnal. As sacred museum spaces come to life, you’re invited to get loose and celebrate music, language and dancing. Featuring The Merindas, DRMNGNOW, Soju Gang and DJ KYAANZ
Treaty, Yeah 6.00 – 7.00pm Saturday 7 September, The Wheeler Centre - Free, bookings essential Victoria is embarking on a Treaty process – the first State to do so. How do writers from other states respond – in a creative way – to the idea of a Treaty? We’ve asked some of our most lyrical and expressive poets and writers to pen their responses. With Ali Cobby Eckermann, Uncle Jim Everett, Marie Munkara and Ellen van Neerven. Moderator Lidia Thorpe.
Check out the full program and attend the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival this September!
Dates: 5 – 8 September 2019
Location: Multiple venues. See website for full details
Times: See website for details
Tickets: Most events are FREE, however booking's essential Blak and Bright Website