Our Mob, Our Words and Our Stories at Our Adelaide Festival Centre

Adelaide-Festival-Centre-OUR-STORIES-2021-photo-by-Ben-SearcyAdelaide Festival Centre is proud to present this year’s OUR MOB, a unique exhibition of art by First Nations artists as well as the return of free in-person literary and storytelling events, OUR WORDS and OUR STORIES.

The 2022 OUR MOB exhibition will be on display to the public at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre foyer galleries from 19 August to 7 October 2022.

OUR WORDS and OUR STORIES events encourage people of all ages to come together to listen and share knowledge from a narrative that is over 60,000 years old at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre and Festival Theatre’s Quartet Bar on Saturday 3 September.

During the day, families are welcomed around the OUR STORIES campfire on the Space Theatre stage to hear traditional Dreaming stories from local storytellers Sonya Rankine, Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr and Taylor Power-Smith. OUR STORIES provides the unique opportunity for young people to be immersed in First Nations culture and language.

Following the performance, children seven years and up can attend an illustration workshop run by award-winning illustrator and graphic designer, Yorta Yorta woman Karen Briggs, while younger audience members can participate in a colouring activity designed by emerging Narungga artist Shakaya Butler in Adelaide Festival Centre’s Children’s Artspace.

This year, OUR WORDS is curated by Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna writer and poet Dominic Guerrera and will be held in the Quartet Bar. Dominic has previously been a panellist at OUR WORDS and has recently been awarded the national Ooodgerro Noonuccal Poetry Prize.

Listen to activist and Narrungga poet Natalie Harkin, Adnyamathanha and Ngarrindjeri archaeologist and TED Talk speaker Jacinta Koolmatrie and Wiradjuri librarian Nathan “mudyi” Sentance discuss themes of decolonising institutions, domestic labour, and Aboriginal narratives.

Other panellists include award-winning Yankunytjatjara author Ali Cobby Eckermann and founder and Artistic Director of Winda Film Festival, Yaegl woman Pauline Clague.

 “My vision for this festival is to hear from Aboriginal writers about broader topics and stories rather than just their current release or work. As Aboriginal writers, we are often boxed into rigid conversations or representations,” said OUR WORDS curator Dominic Guerrera.

“I want OUR WORDS 2022 to be a liberating experience, where our guest writers are able to shake off convention and just speak their minds, something I hope audiences will respond to positively,” he said.

“I am extremely proud to present another iteration of this important event that centres, champions and elevates the voices, stories and words of our First Nations literary community,” said Adelaide Festival Centre Creative Producer Celia Coulthard.

“The OUR MOB exhibition will as always help to promote the careers of First Nations artists and provide South Australians with the opportunity to access and purchase artwork directly from the artist,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM.

“We are also delighted to welcome back the storytelling events, OUR WORDS and OUR STORIES. It has once again been a privilege for our team at Adelaide Festival Centre to work with local storytellers and we look forward to sharing this experience with the community,” said Mr Gautier.

Since its inception in 2006, Adelaide Festival Centre’s OUR MOB exhibition has showcased the quality and diversity of art by South Australian First Nation artists, boosting the careers of many artists, and generating direct-to-artist sales to support their art practices.

Adelaide Festival Centre gratefully acknowledges ongoing partnerships with Ku Arts; SICAD; Country Arts SA; The Don Dunstan Foundation; TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art; and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture centre managers and coordinators across South Australia.

The 2022 award-winning OUR MOB artists will be announced on the evening of Thursday 18 August. For OUR STORIES registrations, click here! For OUR WORDS registrations, click here! Some of the OUR WORDS talks will feature on Adelaide Festival Centre’s podcast From The Wings later this year.

Image: OUR STORIES 2021 – photo by Ben Searcy