The ninth annual Glen Eira Storytelling Festival will be held from Saturday 22 June to Sunday 7 July.  The Festivalcelebrates the telling and sharing of stories with 40 events, including exhibitions; cabaret; theatre; comedy performances; historical tours; films; discussion panels; literary talks; open mic sessions; and collaborative art installations. 

Stories bring communities together. From the story of four generations of First Nations women to nostalgia of the ’burbs, the challenges of the #MeToo movement, contemporary Indigenous art, cutting-edge digital cultural survival games and interactive virtual reality, this year’s Festival once again brings captivating, provocative and meaningful stories for all to share.

Highlights of the Festival include:

Visual Arts

Celebrating Culture: Contemporary Indigenous Art

Themes of identity, colonisation, personal history, community and the diversity and richness of a significant cultural heritage are explored by leading contemporary Indigenous artists. These include: Brook Andrew; Tony Albert; Hannah Brontë; Michael Cook; Janet Fieldhouse; Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi; Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris; Vincent Namatjira; Wayne Quilliam; James Tylor; and Vicki West. Curated by Diane Soumilas.

Indigenous Digital Storytelling

First Nations digital warrior Brett Leavy takes a virtual journey back to the ancient and fascinating world of the Wurundjeri people and their connection to Kulin and the Yarra River. Visitors are able to put on wireless VR handsets to explore this engaging interactive digital environment.

Collecting Indigenous Art

A panel discussion exploring current trends in collecting contemporary indigenous art. Moderator: Shepparton Art Museum Director Dr Rebecca Coates. Panelists: Vivien Anderson Gallery Director Vivien Anderson, collector of Indigenous photography Craig Semple, South Eastern Aboriginal Collections Senior Curator, First Peoples Department, Melbourne Museum Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta), and Victorian artist Hayley Millar-Baker (Gunditjmara).

Performance

Matriarch

Winner of two Melbourne Fringe Festival Awards and nominated for two Green Room Awards winning Best Independent Theatre Performer 2019, Matriarch is an original and dynamic one woman show celebrating the strength and resilience of four generations of Indigenous women.

Jude Perl — I Have a Face

Winner of Best Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe 2018 and the 2019 gong for Best Cabaret Artiste at this year’s Green Room Awards, singer-songwriter-comedian Jude Perl is nothing short of magnificent. I Have a Face, is a theatrical ‘rapid-fire’ exploration of labels, categorisation and gender identity.

Lior — Between You and Me

Lior is one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters renowned for his beautiful voice. He will perform an intimate concert of songs drawn from his latest album — Between You and Me as well as selections from his vast back catalogue of recordings.

Ron Elisha — Unsolicited Male

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, acclaimed playwright Ron Elisha’s new work explores the dynamics of power in the workplace. Instead of Hollywood moguls, the protagonists are people like you and me, yet the dynamics are not all that far removed from those of the casting couch. Kym Valentine (Neighbours and Baby in Dirty Dancing), joins Russell Fletcher and Liam Seymour, alongside Q44 company members Gabriella Rose Carter and William Atkinson. Directed by Suzanne Heywood.

Talks and Comedy

Writers Victoria

Writers Victoria will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a line-up of stellar authors, sharing some of the writing that lifts us up, makes us think, changes our world and brings us home. Authors include Christos Tsiolkas, Bram Presser, Jamie Marina Lau and Enza Gandolfo.

Nostalgia and the ’Burbs

As corner milk bars disappear, video stores shut their doors and quirky suburban houses and landscapes give way to gentrification, a group of writers, photographers and artists have set about capturing the quirks and nostalgia of our changing suburban landscapes. Hosted by Libbi Gorr (ABC Radio Melbourne Weekends).

Annexe Arts Story Telling

Radio 3RRR’s Poet Laureate Ian Bland will set the mood with a story or poem and then invite 12 storytellers to the stage. You don’t need to be an expert or a great public speaker — you just need to have a story that you are willing to share and embrace the wonderful experience of either telling a story, or simply listening to others. It will be fun, emotional, thought provoking and enjoyable.

Comedy at the McKinnon Hotel

Featuring one of the most in-demand TV and radio personalities in Australia, Nazeem Hussain, who will headline a surprise line-up of some of Australia’s best comics.

Ekphrasis — Writing from Art

A writing workshop for adults with renowned poet and writer Bella Li, author of Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Learn about the history and practice of ekphrasis (writing from art), and write your own ekphrastic pieces in response to artwork by contemporary Indigenous artists.

Towards Cinematic Fiction

Join Writers Victoria Chair Nicolas Brasch and author of The Nowhere Child Christian White as they discuss how to pick the right medium for your story, the differences between writing for the screen and for the page, and how learning one can help with the other.

Children’s Program

Teeny Tiny Stevies Live

The Teeny Tiny Stevies is a lively children’s band that is now a sensation in its own right. With live TV appearances, a blog written by Zoe Foster-Blake called Kids Music That Doesn’t Suck and even an offer from Sesame Street in the US to write music for their online kids’ video channel.

Teens Coding for Culture

Learn the basics about digital game design in the cultural survival zone with digital warrior and Indigenous virtual reality artist Brett Leavy.

The Adventures of Catvinklewith Elliot Perlman

This is international best-selling author Elliot Perlman as you’ve never seen him.  Based on The Adventures of Catvinkle — his tailspin of a tale that makes children and adults howl with laughter — comes a storytelling workshop to help let young writers off their leash.

Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Saturday 22 June to Sunday 7 July, in and around the City of Glen Eira. Visit www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Places-and-events/Arts-and-Culture/Storytelling-Festival for further information and program details.

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