11 September 2019

Judith Wright’s legacy to be celebrated with healing festival in Braidwood

| Alex Rea
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Ngaran Ngaran Dancers perform at the opening of the last Two Fire Festival in 2015 at the Dhurga Rock in Ryrie Park. Photos: Alex Rea.

The 2019 Two Fires Festival will be celebrating ‘Food Health and Healing Land’ in Braidwood on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of April.

This family-friendly event is an opportunity to learn about and experience native and local food, art and literature, local activism, indigenous culture and regenerative farming.

Since its beginning in 2005, the Two Fires Festival celebrates the work of a vigorous artistic community and enlivens the creative force of activism. Arts and activism blend, each feeding the potency of the other.

The Festival honours and carries forward the spirit of poet Judith Wright’s twin passions, art and activism, particularly environmental and Indigenous activism. Wright lived in Braidwood for the last part of her life.

Poet and activist Judith Wright at her Half Moon home at Mongarlowe. Photo: Supplied.

After a break in 2017, the Festival is back this year with a full three-day program of events.

The event will kick off on the Friday evening with the opening of the Two Fires Festival art show, ‘River Return’, a group exhibition at Altenburg Gallery.

Saturday will begin with an opening ceremony and welcome to country from Walbunga Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison and Family, Budawang Elder Noel Butler, Ngaran Ngaran and Djaadjawan Dancers.

ELDERS: Braidwood artist Jack Featherstone and Yuin Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison at the last Two Fires Festival.

Saturday will continue to include a Judith Wright address “What can you trust them to do?” by Humphrey McQueen, a Treaty Panel with speakers Pastor Ossie Cruise, Tom Calma and/or Pat Dodson (TBC), speaking with Dr Roderic Pitty about movement towards a Treaty now and the relevance of the Aboriginal Treaty Committee involving Judith Wright.

This will be followed by a Reflective Workshop, using story to re-picture our childhood landscape and its Indigenous story with Phillippa Cordwell from the University of Western Sydney, followed by a Food, Health and Healing Land Panel (Emerging Wisdom in Landcare), with David Marsh, Fran Bodkin, Martin Royds, a screening of “The Millpost Story” with David Watson, Noel Butler and John Newton.

Other events include local activism past and present and Fired-up poetry and song into Saturday night.

Sunday will include local farm tours to Hazelwood Farm and Australian Mountain Pepper, film screenings, reading by US Mob Writing Group and a presentation by Margo Neale, curator for the 2017-18 Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition.

The opening and closing ceremonies take place in Ryrie Park in the centre of Braidwood around the Dhurga Rock.

Johnny Huckle (creator of the Two Fires song), will be performing again in Braidwood.

The Two Fires festival provides a unique and adventurous program with a wide range of creative and intellectual offerings and has something for everyone to enjoy in the relaxed setting of Braidwood.

What: The 2019 Two Fires Festival: Food Health and Healing Land
When: Friday 5th April, Saturday 6th April and Sunday 7th of April
Where: Ryrie Park and various locations around Braidwood NSW
Cost: $20 – $70

For more information, program and tickets visit their website.

Original Article published by Alex Rea on The RiotACT.

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