Elder's Statement: Eugene Eades

It’s so great that the festival is continuing to keep going, to keep us sharing. This year it’s happening in a small way, but still really producing something important, continuing the legacy started years ago… For unseen reasons, with Corona Virus changing the whole scene,we need to work with what we’ve got. What the Festival has come up with is a fantastic solution at this time and place and makes me very happy.

The Noongar engagement from the Denmark Festival is really wonderful, always with deep respect given, because of our connections to Country. A number of things will spin off this weekend – we can celebrate in small ways as well as big ways. Reconciliation week is now, and we want to be able to do this reconciliation in the right way. Denmark’s been great for this for many many years.  Developing and working on reconciliation, Denmark’s been the leader of this for many years, and it’s a pleasure to work with them all the time, and Vivienne yorga brings goodness, joy and unity in the community every time. We want to do this reconciliation always standing side by side, hand in hand, walking together.

Eugene Eades

Noongar Elder

Cultural Guide for Denmark Festival of Voice

Creating a Tiny Festival

What are we doing? In this time of burgeoning online festivals, why go ahead with this tiny, spacious festival? Why not reach thousands directly, through digital media, rather than 20 people spread across 80 square metres of floor?

 

This time of coming back together after being apart seems delicate. Did we truly come home to ourselves? What did we discover? Do we hold hope for our future – that we won’t repeat the ways that haven’t worked, haven’t allowed us to be the most of who we can be? The need for change is big. Are we willing to take responsibility for doing things differently so that this time, we can come together in ways that more truly accept one another, and where we try to listen to, and make spaces for, the voices that we don't always hear?

 

In Denmark, I hear that many people have hope for new ways to emerge. Can we take our individual hope, make it living, and allow it to take us to the doorway of a new way? How does art, so nourishing to our souls, and yet so under-resourced by our institutions and governments, help us navigate this journey?

The impetus to suddenly create a living, breathing festival where we come together in person, with less than a week's lead-time, arrived in part from hearing artists speaking about how much they missed the physical space of being with audiences, and in part from a desire to respond to the 'emergence' of people in Denmark from their time of isolation.

People in the past used to gather around the campfire, on their verandahs, in their lounges; making music, sharing song and chant, telling story, speaking poems. Perhaps there’s something in this coming back to small gatherings, where we are naked in the presence of one another, and small enough in our groups to not lose sight of one another.

Denmark's the sort of place where within two days you can fill a Tiny Festival program with a bunch of awesome, enthusiastic acts - people happy to be part of something, to offer the gift of their voice. A joyful thanks to the 28 artists who said 'we'd love to be involved'.

 

And a sincere thank-you to the beautiful team who have swung into action at the last moment to follow the thread of this crazy impulse and pull together this year’s tiny festival: Penny Goodwin, David Rastrick, Kira Schimmelpfennig, Terry MacKintosh, Mike Hemmings, Kristie McMullan, Rosie Reddie and Kimberley Davies... and also to the wonderful Denmark Arts staff Marianthe Loucataris and Kerry Leahy, the Board of Denmark Arts: Rosemary, Bryce, Shiralee, Ary, Campbell, Ruth and Don and our sponsors – Healthway, who have been wonderful in trusting that we are on the pulse of wellbeing, the Shire of Denmark who said 'yes' to opening the Civic Centre in time, and Regional Arts WA for their solid support and commitment to art in the regions year in and out.

And to the many many voices, hands and hearts who have created the Denmark Festival of Voice over many years behind the scenes and in front of the lights.

with a deep bow of respect to the aeons of art which has been sung, spoken and danced into this Boodja under the custodianship of Noongar Elders....

Welcome to DFoV 2020: The Tiny Festival

Vivienne Robertson - Artistic Director

2a Strickland Street

Denmark, WA, AUS

admin@denmarkarts.com.au

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Denmark Arts and the Denmark Festival of Voice honour and acknowledge the Indigenous Voices who are part of Noongar Boodja and have a history of thousands of years of custodianship and culture. The Festival is under the cultural guidance of Noongar Elders.

Denmark Festival of Voice is a project of Denmark Arts Council Inc

 © Denmark Arts Council Inc.