Darebin City Council has released the Autumn program for FUSE, the new biannual arts festival with a program that includes 20 events across live music, visual arts, and performance showcasing the municipality’s dynamic hub of creativity from Thursday 11 March 2021.
The line-up spans an impressive array of artistic events, performances, and exhibitions that embrace and reflect the Darebin community. FUSE is a unique festival that moves in step with our times, connecting contemporary art to a growing and changing community in ways that inspire, inform, entertain, gratify and provoke.
“I’m delighted to announce that, for FUSE Autumn 2021, a range of exciting, COVID-safe events and performances have been programmed and can be enjoyed by audiences in real life,” said Darebin Mayor Councillor Lina Messina.
“The program brings together a fabulous array of events, from theatre, the visual arts, music and more. FUSE continues to support our local artists and our local community. This festival truly is a celebration of our creative community.”
FUSE is a multi-arts festival that promotes First Nation artists, is artist led with bold and contemporary offerings and celebrates the vibrant cultural diversity in Darebin. Highlights include:
Various sites across City of Darebin: 15 – 28 March
Presented on the street and to the public, the works presented in Stimulus Package are at once deeply personal yet fiercely political, tender and compelling, humorous but deadly serious. Harnessing the vernacular of advertising, Stimulus Package prompts us to consider, how we can meaningfully engage with one another, feel connected and inspired, and bring people together in a time where we are increasingly apart.
Darebin Carpark: 19 – 21 March – 7.00pm
We’re creating a new world order. It looks just like the one you created. It still has concrete and cars. It still has money and hunger and greed. It still has slurpees. But it’s not your world. This world was born from the one you watched die. Experimental theatre company Pony Cam is teaming up with a group of young artists to transform an urban car park into a large-scale performance space. Paradise Lots is an experience trapped between teenage cynicism and middle-aged optimism. Free!
The Art of Storytelling in Song
Reservoir Bowls Club: 19 March – 7.00pm
Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything) and Jessica Lloyd (Mission Songs Project) will perform and will be in conversation with ABC Radio’s Jacinta Parsons on how songwriters tell their story, and how this differs from other art forms. They will also share some wonderful musical interludes. Free!
Darebin Arts Centre: 20 – 27 March
A suburban winery beyond the doorstep, this exhibition celebrates the link between wine, culture and the migrant experience. Award-winning Darebin photographer Laki Sideris visited the homes of regular entrants in Darebin’s homemade wine competition. Illuminating the personalities of these talented makers, he captures their joy in honouring their traditional skills. The result is beautifully atmospheric work that is part portraiture and part documentary. Free!
Northcote Town Hall: 10 – 20 March
Part romantic comedy, part crime saga, and part cosmic fever dream, Enlightenment is a dark, hilarious and moving parable from one of Australia’s true renegade artists. Don’t miss its premiere production by acclaimed Melbourne theatre makers Elbow Room, designed by Perth artist Cherish Marrington, and featuring illustrations by renowned artist and activist Badiucao, the subject of ‘China’s Artful Dissident’. Performed in English with Mandarin surtitles. Admission fees apply!
I liked it, but I didn’t know what the #@!% it was about
Wesley Anne: 24 – 27 March
A performance-cum-conversation with Aboriginal artist and raconteur Joel Bray. Modelled on the successful ‘Politics in the Pub’, “I Liked it…” will bring the familiar – drinking a beer at Darebin’s much-loved Wesley Anne – to demystify the unfamiliar – contemporary arts. He’ll pull back the curtain on how work is made, why it’s important and how to ‘read’ it; releasing potential audiences from their fears of ‘not getting it’ and empowering them to be curious. Local Darebin musical duo Come Heavy Sleep will play songs, and chat together about making art, COVID times and share a dance-and-music improv jam.
Northcote Town Hall: 27 March – 6.00pm / 8.30pm
Women, femmes and gender-diverse people of colour often experience micro aggressions, full blown harassment, verbal abuse and intimidation in public spaces, both digital and physical. TAKEBACK! is a new multi-platform arts project examining and dismantling the racialised gaze. TAKEBACK! is a collective intervention- reclaiming space, voice, visibility and truth-telling. It brings performers, visual artists, writers, theatre-makers, cabaret stars, poets, lyricists, videographers and filmmakers together to create a fierce, full-bodied response to the everyday aggression of patriarchy and white supremacy. With live performances and digital content. Free!
A Fight for Survival
Northern College of the Arts & Technology: 20 – 27 March
A Fight for Survival is collective story about Aboriginal Identity, resilience and celebration. The Exhibition presents photographs, artworks from former students, and other historical material from the period and reflects on why this school meant so much to so many people. Free!
FUSE Darebin – Autumn Festival 2021 runs from Thursday 11 – Sunday 28 March. For more information and full program, visit: www.fusedarebin.com.au for details.
Image: Ava Campbell, Paradise Lots, 2021