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Applications open for Parrtijma, NT's unique festival showcasing Indigenous storytelling

Jarred Cross -

Applications open for Parrtijma, NT's unique festival showcasing Indigenous storytelling

Visitor applications are open for one of Australia's most unique festivals in the heart of the Red Centre.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light returns to blanket the landscape, sky and kwatye (water and rain in Arrernte) - including Uluru, with light displays around Mparntwe (Alice Springs) with traditional storytelling and modern technology for the ninth time in April 2024.

Next year's theme is Interconnectedness.

Festival curator, Rhonda Roberts said sharing and working together is central to Arrente culture.

"It ensures a collective responsibility and an awareness of the bond we have with all forms of life," she said.

"Our ancestors were living under strict social structures and belief systems where everything was interrelated from the land and waterways to our sky country and seasons.

"This way of being has sustained and unified Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Everyone had a place and purpose guided by eons of storytelling, ceremony and song lines that connected the entire nation."

Creative experience design studio Grumpy Sailor, events destination company We Are Gather and Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) deliver Parrtjima.

"Parrtjima is a unique festival that is entering a new phase, and we're excited about the evolution of this visually stunning event," NTMEC chief executive Suzana Bishop said.

"Grumpy Sailor and We Are Gather will help us produce an innovative celebration of the important stories and artwork of First Nations people on Arrernte country in creative new ways.

"The Northern Territory is a unique destination and the home of unique events. Parrtjima is a prime example of the kind of experiences you can enjoy here that you can't find anywhere else. The festival has become a must on the national and international events calendar."

Foreground of part of Parrtjima in 2023. (Image: Parrtjima - A Festival in Light)

Northern Territory Chief Minister and Minister for Major Events, Natasha Fyles highlighted the significance of First Nations storytelling on country, and the wider benefit brought by the festival.

"Parrtjima continues to share the captivating and important stories of First Nations people on Arrernte country in creative new ways that reach new audiences while benefitting the local community and economy," Ms Fyles said.

"The festival is one of the Red Centre's biggest events and this year generated a total economic stimulus of $9.2 million. As the event keeps evolving, we will see more and more visitors travelling to Central Australia to experience this beautiful festival.

"While there, they can also enjoy the Red Centre Light Trail, which takes in a range of light experiences including Wintjiri Wiru and Field of Light at Uluru, and Light Towers at Kings Canyon Resort."

Registrations to attend the free festival are now open.

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