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When the Tides Turn - NT Writers Festival

By Anna Dowd

Exploring ideas of change and adaptation through rich conversations and story, the 2020 NT Writers Festival (NTWF) promises four days of timely reflection and fun next month.

Held in the magical surrounds of the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, NTWF brings together the Territory’s best writers, playwrights, performers and thinkers in a range of panels, readings and workshops.

Artistic Director Fiona Dorrell says when they started exploring this year’s theme Gunamidirra garawa birditj (When the tides turn), they expected to talk about transform-ation.

“We could never have predicted, however, just how sweeping the shifts of this year would be.”

While changes were necessary, the relevance of the theme only deepened, and relying on local talent, the program stayed strong.

“The amount of incredible people we have here working in interesting fields, and representing so much diversity, grappling everyday with complex cross-cultural spaces, environmental and other issues,” says Dorrell.

“I’m just endlessly amazed.”

This year, a Larrakia translation appears alongside the English language theme thanks to Elder Bilawarra Lee – a fitting reflection of the perspectives and new publications from First Nations people represented in the program.

“We are lucky to have an amazing group of women from Yirrkala who’ve written an amazing book called Song Spirals,” says Dorrell.

“It’s a remarkable book in that it really does change the way you look at country, and also, it’s been picked up by a major publisher. In the past, our publishers haven’t really reflected the diversity of communities but I think this signals a shift.”

For Dorrell, writers’ festivals are an opportunity to celebrate the culture of a place and bring people together to do that.

“This festival is for anyone who loves to go see films, or music or performance, and there’s a whole range of art forms being celebrated here,” she says.

“Down at the Gardens, we’re going to have food and drinks, hopefully creating a really celebratory feeling. We think it’s important in a year that’s been so challenging for many.”


NT Writers Festival
WHEN THU 1 – SUN 4 OCT
INFO ntwriters.com.au | facebook.com/ntwritersfestival

Click here for all NTWF events.

Thumbnail and inset photo: Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time
Header: Fiona Hall, 'Mangrove' (detail), 2010, etching on Hahnemühle cotton rag paper, 79.5x94cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

 

 Fiona Hall, Mangrove 2010, etching on Hahnemühle cotton rag paper, 79.5 x 94 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 

 Fiona Hall, Mangrove 2010, etching on Hahnemühle cotton rag paper, 79.5 x 94 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 

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