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state library of queensland
First Nations cultures

A Night by the Fire with Aboriginal Storytellers

By Administrator | 20 June 2014

Our first A Night by the Fire series is done and dusted! This first series was all about Aboriginal storytellers and it was a huge success. Over three months we held four events with seven speakers and over 120 people in attendance.

We kicked off the series with Samuel Wagan Watson. It was a cool night around the kuril dhagun fire listening to Samuel share his stories and his poems. Though he was softly spoken, you could hear the power and strength resonating in the words of his poetry.

As the nights got colder (and our fire got bigger) we heard from theatre maker and actress Paula Nazarski as she spoke of the continuing Indigenous voice in theatre. She also spoke of the importance of cultural consultants involvement in creating Indigenous plays.

Shortly before supporting TLC we also heard from local hip hop artist Kaylah Truth. She told of the language of Aboriginal storytelling through art, dance and music and its contemporary incarnations in hip hop (graffiti, dance and rap). All that were there were also treated to a few of her songs!

To round off the series we hosted a forum with four Aboriginal storytellers to discuss the process of contemporary Indigenous storytelling. We had a great panel consisting of Aunty Mary Graham (Brisbane elder), Steven Oliver (poet and playwright), Fred Leone (musician) and Tibian Wyles (actor). The conversation ranged from issues confronting contemporary Aboriginal storytelling to what stories should be told. It was a great night with a great audience. And by the end of it people wanted to keep talking, so we might need to make the next one a bit longer!

Thank you to everyone who made the event a success. I would like to give a huge thanks to all of you that could make it along to the events. And if you didn’t, don’t worry because we will be doing another one soon so keep your eyes peeled for the next series on remains and repatriation!


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