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Unheard stories - landmark cultural event
A wonderful energy exuded as we entered the Parade Theatre at NIDA on opening night of the landmark cultural event of the StoryLines Festival.
StoryLines is a four week festival celebration which includes art, dance, music, theatre and stories providing voices from Sydney's Malaysian, Islamic, Indigenous and African Refugee communities that often go unheard.
Artworks titled Voices and Visions lined the theatre displaying moving images from the stolen generation and refugees, giving reflective moments.
The mood and pace quickly changes with an exciting and thrilling performance of African drum music by Sibo Bangoura, thoroughly engaging the audience.
Sibo Bangoura on African drum
Another change of pace with the haunting music of a Chinese Zither performed by Joshua from Emily Max, followed by a member of the Kinchela Boys Home and Stolen Generation Chris Edwards-Haines. Chris echoed his feelings singing his original songs and playing acoustic guitar.
Listening to his words, we can only take small glimpses of what it would have been like being displaced from family and culture. His messages were expressed beautifully.
Sounds of the distinct Didgeridoo followed, performed by the young Anthony Treacy. Beginning with traditional sounds, they gradually merged into an upbeat contemporary tone for the introduction of a vibrant hip hop dance team, The Saints.
The Saints' dance team
At the end of their exciting performance, the dancers motioned us to enter the theatre for two moving plays by award winning playwright Justine Fleming.
The first play, A Land Beyond the River was performed by nine talented young actors to a reinvention of the classic 1960's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. A story of a young innocent black man being at the wrong place at the wrong time, accused of assaulting a young white girl. Interwoven with real life stories of three African refugees.
The twist in this play within a play where the controversial roles are reversed by the performers. Presenting a moving and thought provoking message.
Junction followed as the second play of the night. An interesting plot set in the Australian outback where two disused sets of railway tracks converge. Two young travellers decide to spend a night in the old railway station. Tension raises when strange events occur as dark falls.
With creative lighting and set design your imagination takes hold on the choice this young couple must take.
A thoroughly entertaining evening all round intertwined with fascinating stories from our cultural community.