Adelaide festivals: Sharing Kaurna Stories

Art is the best way to learn about the world's oldest living cultures

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 08 Feb 2019
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Tindo Utpurndee, Sunset Ceremony

Earlier in the year, Gunditjmara playwright, scriptwriter and musician Richard Franklin spoke about assimilation. At the Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land, he asked why Indigenous Australians are expected to assimilate into white culture, when white Australians aren’t expected to assimilate into Indigenous culture.

In the future, he hopes to walk down the street and have people greet him in his language, instead of saying ‘hello’, and not because they have to but because they have a shared appreciation for Aboriginal culture – the preservation of which is dependent on every Australian being proud of it.

Unfortunately many are unfamiliar with Indigenous culture – it's not as if it is extensively covered in the syllabus of primary schools in Australia. And, in an attempt to not just preserve but also revive Kaurna culture, people must first learn about it.

So, where’s the best place to get your hands on some Kaurna knowledge? Adelaide during the festival period, of course.

Kaurna people have been telling stories and creating art for more than 50,000 years and now is an idyllic moment to shuffle back, settle in, and learn by listening to what the oldest living culture in the world has to say.

From workshops to art installations, from Yabarra along the Karrawirra Parri, also known as the River Torrens, to the Dupang Festival on Ngarrindjeri land on the Coorong, there’s a myriad of Indigenous events on offer. It is artistic projects, not politics or statistics, that demonstrate how creative processes in the spirit of reconciliation have the power to unify people.