Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2021 is inviting you to Mparntwe/Alice Springs to watch the desert come alive with new artworks, light shows and a program of performances, interactive workshops, music, film and talks.

A 10-night event and free to those who register, Parrtjima is a celebration of Central Australian art and culture. Organisers want those who attend Parrtjima to listen to the Elders, custodians and guardians of language through their program.

The 2021 theme Future Kultcha will focus on intergenerational wisdom. Based on the oral way of learning, the theme centres around the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next which has taken place amongst First Nations people for tens of thousands of years.

The passing on of knowledge and stories is a vital component to the Future Kultcha program.

The full program curation including cinema sessions with thought-provoking films and a line up of talented Australian musicians, contemporary speakers and storytellers will be revealed in March.

Emu Laying Eggs at Night, Parrtjima 2020. Photo by Lachlan Dodds-Watson.

As revealed in this week’s Parrtjima virtual preview, musical duo Electric Fields, known for their fusion of electric-soul music with singing in traditional Pitjiantjatjara and Yankuntjatjara languages, will be performing live with the MacDonnell Ranges light show as their backdrop on the opening night.

“The organisers of Parrtjima asked if we would be interested in composing a piece for the festival, we were very excited as we’ve been to Parrtjima before and it is a world-class event that showcases the Country in a way I’ve never experienced,” said one half of the duo, Michael Ross, during the preview.  

Casey Donovan will also take the stage this year when Parrtjima holds the inaugural Merne desert dinner under a canopy of stars. The night is an opportunity to enjoy a contemporary take on traditional bush foods 

Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford said the Parrtjima festival is a unique event in a unique location.

“We are absolutely thrilled to see Parrtjima return to the Red Centre this April, and to share some of the magic with viewers online.”

“We look forward to welcoming people from all over Australia to one of the best Parrtjima festivals yet, and a holiday filled with memorable moments,” he said.

“Parrtjima is a magical event in one of Australia’s most magnificent locations. Come with an open mind and see a side of Australia you’ve never seen before.”

Parrtjima is delivered by the Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company and produced by Creative Directors AGB Events.   

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light runs from April 9-18, 2021. Find more information here.

By Darby Ingram