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OUR WORDS

First Nations Talks
Artspace
92 OUR WORDS Jimblah
1 show

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This year’s OUR WORDS program will weave words across oceans, peek behind the curtain of theatre making and celebrate award-winning fiction.

Join First Nations poets, writers, creatives and thought leaders from across the state, country and globe for another year of conversations to contemplate, provoke and inspire. 


The event consists of three panels:

WOVEN (10:00am-11:30am)

This unique hybrid literary panel will bring together acclaimed international artists Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Joy Harjo, via video link, and their renowned poetic collaborators Natalie Harkin and Ali Cobby Eckermann.  Hosted by editor Anne-Marie Te Whiu, this gathering will celebrate the powerful gift of Indigenous reciprocity within the Woven anthology (Magabala Books 2024). 

PRAISED ( 12:30pm-1:30pm)

Writer and academic, Dr Eugenia Flynn, is joined in conversation with Stella Prize-winning author, Alexis Wright, via video link, to talk about literary epics, award winning words and international acclaim.

STAGED (2:00pm-3:00pm)

Accomplished screen and stage writer, Tracey Rigney speaks with emerging South Australian playwrights Sonya Rankine, Jannali Jones and Kyron Weetra about creative process and the art of telling a story on stage.   


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In partnership with

This program is generously supported by the Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation.


Featuring

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann is a Yankunytjatjara grandmother, poet and visual artist residing on Ngadjuri country where she lived her adoptive years. Traditional desert country and culture provided solace to write following her epic journey to re-connect with her birth and kinship families. Ali's verse novel She Is The Earth (Magabala 2023) was awarded Indigenous Writers Prize and Book Of The Year at the 2024 NSW Premiers Awards.

Ali Cobbby Eckermann pic Jarred Walker

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2019-2022. She is the author of ten books of poetry, plays, children's books, and two memoirs. She has edited three anthologies of Native poetry. She was recently honored with the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, Yale's 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. As a musician Harjo has produced seven award-winning music albums. She is the first Artist-in-Residence for Tulsa's Bob Dylan Center. She lives in the Muscogee Creek Reservation in Oklahoma.

Joy Harjo

Natalie Harkin

Natalie Harkin (Narungga) is a poet and Research Fellow with the Indigenous Studies team at Flinders University. She has a strong interest in archival justice, engaging archival-poetic methods to document community Memory Stories, Aboriginal women's domestic service labour histories, and Indigenous Living-Legacy archive innovations for our time. Her books include Dirty Words (Cordite Books), Archival-poetics (Vagabond Press), and APRON-SORROW / SOVEREIGN-TEA (Wakefield Press, in-press).

Bio pic 2024 Natalie Harkin

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and musician. She is the author of seven previous books, including the novel Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladies, short listed for the Dublin Literary prize and the Governor General’s award for fiction. Leanne’s latest album, Theory of Ice, released by You’ve Changed Records was released in 2021 and short-listed for the Polaris Prize and she was the 2021 winner of the Prism Prize’s Willie Dunn Award. Her latest project in collaboration with Robyn Maynard, Rehearsals for Living was also short-listed for the Governor General’s award for non-fiction. Leanne is a member of Alderville First Nation.

Head shot simpson leanne

Anne-Marie Te Whiu

Anne-Marie Te Whiu an Australian-born Māori who belongs to the Te Rarawa iwi in Hokianga, Aotearoa NZ. She is a poet, editor and weaver. She was a 2021 Next Chapter Fellowship recipient, and her writing has been published widely nationally and internationally including Another Australia (Affirm Press) Te Awa o Kupu (Penguin), Sport, Tupuranga Journal, In*ter*is*land Collective, SBS Voices, Cordite, Rabbit Journal, Contemporary Hum, Running Dog, Ora Nui Journal, Te Whē, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Awa Wahine and Australian Poetry Journal. Most recently she edited Woven, published in partnership with Magabala and Red Room Poetry. Previously she edited Tony Birch’s Whisper Songs (University of Queensland Press), Bebe Backhouse's More Than These Bones and Solid Air: Australia & New Zealand Spoken Word (University of QLD Press) which she coedited. 1 In 2023 Anne-Marie was awarded a studio residency as part of the Clothing Store Artist Program, Carriageworks. Between 2015 – 2017 she co-directed the Queensland Poetry Festival, and she was a coproducer of the Writers Program for the Aotearoa New Zealand International Arts Festival (Wellington - February 2024). Anne-Marie’s forthcoming debut poetry collection titled Mettle will be published by University of Queensland Press.

Anne Marie Te Whiu Woven

Eugenia Flynn

Eugenia Flynn is Tiwi, Larrakia, Chinese Malaysian and Muslim writer and academic. Her creative practice explores narratives of truth, grief, and devastation, interwoven with explorations of race and gender. Her essays, short stories and poems have been published in IndigenousX, NITV, Peril magazine, The Lifted Brow, Borderless: A Transnational Anthology of Feminist Poetry and #MeToo: Stories From the Australian Movement. Her text work has appeared in exhibitions such as Waqt al-tagheer: Time of Change at ACE Open, Enough خلص Khalas: Contemporary Australian Muslim Artists at UNSW Galleries, and SOULfury at Bendigo Art Gallery. 

E Flynn 2 by Leah Jing Mc Intosh 1

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The author of the prize-winning novels Praiseworthy, Carpentaria, and The Swan Book, Wright has published three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory; and Tracker, an award-winning collective memoir of Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmouth. Her books have been published widely overseas, including in China, the US, the UK, Italy, France, and Poland. Wright has won a number of literary awards, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Carpentaria, as well as the James Tait Fiction Prize and the Queensland Literary Award for Praiseworthy, which was also shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award—one of the world’s richest literary prizes. She is the first author to win the Stella Prize twice: for Tracker in 2018 and for Praiseworthy in 2024. She held the position of Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne and was honored with the title of Distinguished Professor at Western Sydney University. She is the inaugural winner of the Creative Australia Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

Alexis Wright pic Lily Sawenko

Tracey Rigney

Tracey Rigney is a Wotjobaluk and Ngarrindjeri woman from Victoria. Her screenwriting credits include the 2019 short film, 'Elders', which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival before screening at multiple national and international festivals), 'The Warriors' (TV series produced by Arenamedia for ABC), as well as her short films 'Man Real', 'Abalone' and 'Endangered'. Tracey also wrote the chapter 'Rebel Art' for the Feature film 'We are still here', which opened the 2022 Sydney Film Festival. Her playwriting credits include 'Belonging' (Ilbijerri/Playbox Production Melbourne), 'How Blak R U?' (Next Wave Festival Production Melbourne) and 'Hidden' (Courthouse Youth Arts Centre Geelong 2003/4). In 2022, she wrote 2 plays for young audiences: ‘Rella' for Windmill Theatre Company and 'Someone in the Dark'

T Rigney Headshot

Sonya Rankine

Sonya Rankine, a Narungga, Ngarrindjeri, Ngadjuri, and Wirangu woman, is a multidisciplinary artist. Established Lakun Mara in 2019, meaning 'Weaving Hand' in Ngarrindjeri, learning from master weaver Aunty Ellen Trevorrow. Her art, strongly tied to cultural preservation and revitalisation. Awarded the 2019 Our Mob Exhibition Don Dunstan Foundation Emerging Artist Prize and the 2021 SA NAIDOC Artist of the Year, Sonya's work has been showcased since 2019 across regional, metro, state, and national platforms. Notably, performed at the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and wrote songs and performed in Narungga language for the Wild Dog Exhibition 2022, awarded 2023 Ruby Award and Guuranda, Adelaide Festival 2024. Sonya's poetry reflects on her experiences and addresses social and political issues, recently published in the ‘Rock Remains’ Aboriginal Anthology launched at the Adelaide Writers Festival 2024. Sonya is an emerging playwright as the inaugural First Nation Fellowship 2024 recipient with Brink Productions.

Sonya Rankine Our Mob 2021 exhibtion headshot 1

Jannali Jones

Jannali Jones is an award-winning Gunai writer from South Australia. She is currently working with Brink Productions as part of their 2024 First Nations Fellowship. She wrote and produced the 2024 Adelaide Fringe play, Trail’s End, which won two awards: the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award and the Holden Street Theatres Award. Jannali took part in the 2023 Yirra Yaakin Playwright Festival, where her play, Downstream, was developed with Isaac Drandic and Nazaree Dickerson, and performed as a staged reading at the Subiaco Arts Centre. She completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her debut novel, My Father’s Shadow, a YA thriller, was published by Magabala Books and won the black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship. Jannali’s work has been published in Australia and overseas, spanning both fiction and non-fiction across various genres and forms. Recently, she was awarded the First Nations Fellowship through the University of Adelaide JM Coetzee Centre, the 2024 SA Writers Varuna Fellowship, and was shortlisted for the 2023 Deep Creek Fellowship.

B P0137 CL

Kyron Weetra

Kyron Weetra is a proud Narungga/Saxon clan writer, actor, musician, comedian, D.J. and M.C. and moonlighter in various creative worlds. Kyron has worked with many Adelaide arts companies over the past 15 years. Kyron is currently the Artist in Residence for the State Theatre Company of South Australia where he is working on his latest play called "Charge of the Dark Brigade". When he's not writing for the stage & screen he can be seen sporadically slapping the bass for Thoma & The Humbugs.

Kyron Guitar Headshot

Performance Location: Artspace

A photo taken from the riverbank of Adelaide Festival Centre, with a view of surrounding buildings in the background.

You can enter the ArtSpace by foot from North Terrace, Adelaide Railway Station, Adelaide Oval, or King William Road. 

From North Terrace, walk down the laneway alongside SkyCity Casino. From King William Road, you can walk over Festival Plaza (theres a lift and escalator down to the Dunstan Playhouse level) or along the Walk of Fame from Elder Park.

Access

There is an accessible drop off area located off Festival Drive under the Riverbank Footbridge.

A designated disability drop off is also available 45 minutes before performances. To access this drop off area, turn onto Festival Drive from King William Road, pass the Festival Plaza car park entrance and stay left, driving through the EOS Hotel visitor drop off loop to arrive at the Dunstan Playhouse access drop off. 

Taxi services

The best place to be dropped off by taxi is on King William Road at the Festival Theatre or on North Terrace. There is also a drop off area located off lower Festival Drive underneath the Riverbank Footbridge. 

Car parking

The nearest car park is located behind Adelaide Convention Centre on Festival Drive - next to the Riverbank Footbridge. The eastern lift will take you to the promenade level where it's a short walk to the theatre entrance. Visit the Adelaide Convention Centre website for more information. 

Public transport

Accessible by many forms of public transport. Including trains, buses, the tram (stop at Railway Station) and a free bus service that operates on a loop throughout the city and North Adelaide with stops on the corner of King William Road and North Terrace.

We want to make your visit as enjoyable as possible and offer many ways to assist if support is required.

Accessible seating

Accessible and stair-free seating is available in this venue.

Toilets

Accessible toilets are available at all Adelaide Festival Centre venues.

Assistance animals

Every theatre and event/function area of Adelaide Festival Centre is assistance animal friendly. 

Audio assistance

Audience members who require hearing assistance are now able to enjoy the show via the Beyerdynamic Hearing System. Please advise the operator at the time of booking. 

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