Indigenous artists at WOMADelaide 2017


Indigenous artists and culture have long been celebrated at WOMADelaide and we felt it appropriate, with the combination of our 25th year and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum recognising Indigenous Australians as citizens, that the WOMADelaide 2017 lineup include some of the most exciting performers yet.

The festival will open, as it has over many years with a Welcome to Country. This will be led by Steve Gadlabarti Goldsmith, an Elder of the local Kaurna people, on the Foundation Stage at 5:45pm on Friday night.

In a fitting return for our 25th anniversary festival, Archie Roach who performed at the very first WOMADelaide in 1992 alongside Paul Kelly, returns for what will be a record sixth visit!

- Respected Aboriginal elder and unofficial ‘Godfather of Indigenous Theatre’ Uncle Jack Charles will join his longtime friend Archie Roach in an extraordinary Artist In Conversation entitled “Healing & Empowerment Through The Arts” hosted by former broadcaster Namila Benson.

- Gawurra sings in his native Gupapuyngu language, reviving ancient song lines which saw him win four National Indigenous Music awards in 2016, including album of the year.
Electric Fields are an exciting local addition to the lineup, with Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara man Zaachariaha Fielding singing in Pitjantjatjara and English set to spine tingling electronica.

- A.B. Original are quite possibly the most powerful, political and controversial Indigenous musical voice heard yet in Australia. The collaboration between Briggs (Adam Briggs, a Yorta Yorta man and Album of the Year recipient at the National Indigenous Music Awards 2015) and Trials (Dan Rankine, a Ngarrindjeri man and ARIA Award-winning producer) first took flight in January 2015 and we’re very excited to welcome them to WOMADelaide 2017.

- Joining Welsh group 9Bach on stage at WOMADelaide 2017 will be guest vocalists Dr Lou Bennett and Shellie Morris, who both performed at WOMADelaide 2008 with the Black Arm Band, and who collaborated with 9Bach on the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad piece Mamiath - Mother Tongue.

- Giidanyba (Sky Beings) by artist Tyrone Sheather, an interactive sound and visual installation that communicates Gumbaynggirr Dreaming culture in a contemporary format, with music by Wiradjuri musician Shane Nelson.

- A Planet Talks panel entitled “Valuing Indigenous knowledge and language” brings together Arrernte Elder Veronica Perrurle Dobson and Kaurna Elder Lewis Yerloburka O'Brien, alongside Zaachariaha Fielding and esteemed radio host Miriam Corowa to discuss 40,000 years of Indigenous knowledge and its importance for the future of Australian environmental conservation.

- The SA Museum Explorers’ Tent in KidZone will explore the unique culture and environment of Arnhem Land. To celebrate and share the Museum’s exhibition Yidaki: didjeridu and the sound of Australia, join visiting Yolngu artists including yidaki master Djalu Gurruwiwi to make and decorate your own yidaki (didjeridu), discover the techniques of traditional pandanus weaving and be delighted and amazed by the biodiversity of Arnhem Land through talks, storytelling, and hands-on activities.

- Also in KidZone, the inaugural presentation of Story Time to close the KidZone at the end of each day will feature ”Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri stories with Allan Sumner” on the Monday night.

WOMADelaide is proud to support RECOGNISE, the movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution, as an important step toward building a unified, prosperous and modern future for Australia.