New festival headlines fresh ideas about multiculturalism

By Our Reporter
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Immigration Museum and Multicultural Arts Victoria join forces to present a packed multi-generational, multi-artform and multi-perspective program on Saturday 26 October

GENERATIONS is a day of music, dance, talks, performance art and spoken word celebrating the diversity of Melbourne’s multicultural community and showcasing artists as powerful forces shaping culture and society. It will be held on Saturday, 26 October.

Featuring intersectional and culturally diverse voices such as Adrian Eagle, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Voice for Change, Melbournians can attend this festival with their best friend, parents and nonna, ya-ya or ah ma.

Multicultural Arts Victoria CEO Veronica Pardo said, ‘GENERATIONS’ multidimensional program is a platform for artistic exchange and public discourse, aimed at bringing understanding to difference, power to under-represented voices and joy to all those who attend.’

Immigration Museum general manager Rohini Kappadath said, “Museums are increasingly becoming a powerful connecting force in our cultural landscape. Immigration Museum is a living place where people can connect with each other while embracing the joys and complexities of identity, multiculturalism and migration.”

Once a thriving hub of trade activity, the majestic Long Room trades customs for ideas as it hosts ‘Artists at the Threshold’. This discussion chaired by Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent Maxine Beneba Clark will see an inter-generational panel of diverse artists talk culture, community, and change.

The Long Room will also host young Yorta Yorta storyteller, Allara Briggs-Pattison as she uses a loop station and double bass to deliver songs reflecting on human rights and spiritual and environmental empowerment; Fipe Preuss and Irihipeti Wahetine’s Vasa Pasifika fusing contemporary and traditional performing arts to weave a 21st century Pasifika story; and Bosnian-Herzogovnian project MIRAZ which brings together Saray Illuminado quartet, Kud Dukat dancers, projection artist Elmedin Žunić, and internationally recognised poet Aiša Hadžiahmetovic to present music, poetry and cultural ritual.

The outdoor main stage will be headlined by renowned singer-songwriter Adrian Eagle who will send his soulful reggae, hip-hop and acoustic tunes floating into the hearts and minds of the crowd. This will be one of his last sets in Australia before touring the US with Hilltop Hoods. And emerging artists Muse and Young Doves play alongside mentors Thando, MoMO, and Ror for a set of youth-driven, empowering, hip-hop influenced performances from Mushroom Group’s Voice for Change initiative.

Also on offer are rare performances from innovative cross-cultural 10-piece Assembly; new Afro-Latin collaboration Evolution led by Iaki Vallejo; five-piece Open Jam Kafeneio fusing traditional Greek music in a contemporary style; Chinese Square Dancers making Immigration Museum’s courtyard their square for a participatory performance; and L2R leading hip-hop dance workshops.

In the Discovery Centre, hear spoken word and multilingual works by Melbourne Spoken Word and the Australian Multilingual Writing Project. Reflecting upon the International Year of Indigenous Language, both groups will address personal and cultural relationships with heritage and identity through language.

Roaming performance piece Hybrid Bird by Joshinder Cheggar will be hard to miss, as she looks at how birds including peacocks, crows, kookaburras, cranes and swallows witness different cultures and the continuous change in our lives.

Other performance art includes Knitting a Home by Miream Salameh and Fragments & Remnants by Jonathan Homsey, while Story IS Connection opens up the voice of international students to explore their identities through performance.

And if that wasn’t enough, guests will be able to wander through Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks, a suite of exhibitions exploring the art of tattoo, alongside themes of identity, self-expression, culture and community situated in the galleries throughout Immigration Museum.

Alongside the myriad performances, will be a range of food options including Massi di Munde 2 Indian food truck, Tastes of Senegal, and the Hmong Community food stall, with vegetarian, vegan and halal options. Once fuelled, join the Hadhrami community to play a game of traditional dominoes or get a henna tattoo.

GENERATIONS is presented in partnership by Multicultural Arts Victoria and Immigration Museum, and supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

 

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