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The FUSE is lit - Fuse Digital this weekend!

Pirritu, who will also be part of the Ganbu Gulin event. Photo by Giulia Giannini McGauran.

Darebin’s Multi-Arts festival, FUSE Digital, is set to keep art and music lovers entertained at home from the 4 -19 September 2021.

“FUSE Digital is committed to finding innovative ways to move beyond the pandemic’s damaging effect on the arts, forging new and positive connections with artists, performers and audiences,” says Cr Lina Messina, Mayor of the City of Darebin.

“With the development of FUSE Digital, Darebin City Council is investing in long-term thinking about the role of festivals and creative development. Through FUSE Digital’s development, we’re exploring enduring and crisis-proof ways for artists to engage with audiences.”

The festival will be delivered online for the second year and aims to unite a community in a time when distance is all too familiar. The program promotes the work of artists through Melbourne’s extended lockdown and will feature the following highlights:

Ganbu Gulin kicks off the festival on Saturday 4 September, setting the tone for a festival centred around First Nations and culturally diverse storytelling. Beginning with a Welcome to Country and First Nations celebration held on the sacred lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people.

Ganbu Gulin (meaning one mob) will feature a live streamed performance by Pirritu (pictured above). Pirritu, a Ngiyampaa man and First Nations singer-songwriter known for his enticing music that brings audiences along with his personal journey. Posing an alternate celebration for January 26, Ganbu Gulin opens the FUSE program yearly and is a First Nations celebration urging the community to unite and celebrate as one mob.

The program also features a documentary, available online for the duration of the festival, telling the story of how Darebin’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee led the #changethedate campaign in Darebin.

Wear The Wild is a design costume challenge using recycled materials that are reimagined into nature inspired wearable art pieces. Led by artists and self-confessed fabric-freaks, Luna Aquatica and Sarah Seahorse, the pair advocate for handmade, local, and sustainable fabrics and practices and are passionate about changing the face of fast fashion. Darebin residents aged 25 and under can get crafty with items such as bottle caps, plastic bottles, discarded colourful inflatables, bed linen, plastic straws and whatever they can get their hands on, to create their wearable art and submit photos to the artists at by Sunday 12 September to win up to $350 worth of vouchers.

The competition aims to mentor and inform participants of the environmental issues of current fashion and urges people to explore the possibilities of wearable art. Luna Aquatica explains: “This event was inspired by spending lots of time in the Darebin Parklands during lockdown and noticing the amount of waste, also reading about the endangered flora and fauna of the Darebin Parklands and learning about its history. All of our artwork has been made from recycled materials or scraps from our own studios. A large percentage of our materials have been collected from the Darebin Parklands and the Darebin area and we’ll showcase the wearable art we’re making from these discarded materials via the FESE website.”

The annual Darebin Songwriters Award is an annual song writing competition that seeks to recognise, showcase, and promote the talents of local and emerging songwriters in the City of Darebin. The deadline for entries is now open and has now been extended to Sunday 5 September in order to give local talent more time to craft their entry.

The prestigious award was won in 2020 by Paige Black (pictured left), who has since released an album and recorded alongside some of Australia’s most notable producers and songwriters. This is the second year that the search for Darebin’s greatest songwriter will be held online, judged by a panel of experienced adjudicators, announced on 17 September.

The winner of the award will receive an incredible prize package including $2,000 cash courtesy of City of Darebin, eight hours recording time with an engineer at HeadGap, EP Mastering by Crystal Mastering, a $500 Implant Media voucher for CD duplication services, and a $500 Echo Tone Guitars voucher, and will be showcased via FUSE’s website and socials.

Spaced is the online zine performance led by Disabled artists, creating space for conversation about the taboo of disability. A cry for solidarity between members of the disability community and those who identify as Deaf, Spaced is an opportunity for young people who crave to see their experiences and bodies reflected in literature, art, dance and old-fashioned printed word.

Spaced is the space to shatter stigma and to celebrate our whole selves. A collaboration between Australian artists and led by Jess Kapuscinski Evans, Spaced is THE space to shatter stigma and celebrate our whole selves. The performance takes place on Zoom, is Auslan interpreted and has embedded audio descriptions.

Find out more about FUSE Digital on their website here and be sure to catch some performances this September!


Dates: 4 - 19 September 2021

Auslan Flyer available here.

Fuse Darebin Website



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