Light festival returns to Alice Springs

The Parrtjima Festival is returning to Alice Springs this year, lighting up Australia’s Red Centre from 5 – 14 April. The free public Festival in Light is the only First Nations light festival of its kind in the world, and it offers a proud showcase of the nation’s rich Indigenous culture and history through state of the art technology in an unparalleled location.

Over the course of 10 days, festival-goers will enjoy a range of musical acts, lighting installations, interactive artworks, talks and ideas that highlight the stories of Central Australia. The program has been curated by renowned First Nations creative director, Rhoda Robert AO.

Parrtjima Festival returns to Alice Springs
Parrtjima Festival returns to Alice Springs

This year, lauded Indigenous hip hop artist – and recipient of the 2019 Young Australian of the Year Award – Baker Boy will perform on the final night of Parrtjima Festival. The energetic, Arnhem Land-born rapper is known for his artful performances that switch between English and his native tongue Yolngu Matha.

The 2019 Parrtjima Festival coincides with the UN Year of Indigenous Languages. In recognition, the theme of this year’s festival is Language Expressions, which will inform every light projection, art installation and program highlight.

Parrtjima Festival returns to Alice Springs

“2019 is the UN Year of Indigenous Languages. Traditional Languages are vital to providing age-old knowledge continuance of story, culture and connection to Country. Through our thematic of language expression,Parrtjima 2019 once again provides a unique platform and an exchange of new expressions and a dialogue that is relevant to the 21st century.

“The installations and light show capture the essence of diverse artistic practices, along with the public program that features music, film and talks enhancing the many ways in which First Nations artists, performers and custodians celebrate and evolve, while staying true to the ancient philosophy of connection and Country.

“Festival guests can expect to be spellbound and witness the unexpected, and I hope many can join us in the heart of the nation as we explore the oldest living art practices through a new lens,” said Parrtjima curator Rhoda Roberts.

Parrtjima Festival returns to Alice Springs
Parrtjima Festival returns to Alice Springs

The hugely popular Ahelhe Itethe – Living Sands (Grounded) is returning to the festival this year, ready to enthrall visitors as it projects dynamic, animated artworks onto desert sands. Other festival highlights and new additions include:

  • Angkentye Anpernirrentye-kerte – The Language of Kin, an illuminated tunnel that honours local Arrernte people and welcomes visitors to the festival space.
  • Angkentye Ampe-kenhe – The Language of Children, an over-sized maze and interactive artwork that encourages connectedness and conversation.
  • Angkentye Stockmen Mape-kenhe – The Language of Stockmen, a series of oversized sculptures replicating original artwork by local artists Johnny Young and David Wallace with collaborations from young artists from Tapatjatjaka Arts Centre.

Go to for the full program and more information.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2019
5 April – 14 April, Alice Springs Desert Park

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