Excitement is building for the Red Centre’s iconic 10-night Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, with registrations now open for the free event. Parrtjma is the only Aboriginal light festival of its kind, and showcases the world’s oldest continuous culture through the newest technology.
Parrtjima, which takes place in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) on Arrernte country, will run from 7-16 April 2023. The 2023 theme is Listening with Heart. Inspired by the artwork surrounding the Statement from the Heart, Listening with Heart embodies the concept of coming together, meeting, and taking the time to contemplate and reflect.
A group of artists from Multijulu, led by Maruku artist Rene Kulitja, created the Statement from the Heart artwork. It depicts Uluru-Ku Tjukurrpa (The Uluru Story). Rene will work alongside a number of artists to bring the stunning piece to life as a large-scale immersive light and sound installation. As the heart of Parrtjima 2023, the installation will immerse visitors in the world of the Aṉangu people of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands surrounding Uluru.
As they journey through the installation, visitors will hear the ancient songlines and Indigenous perspectives of what country means – learning to walk together and connecting, while listening to the First Peoples’ deep connection and philosophy of land, water and sky country.
Parrtjima is delivered by the Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) and is produced by Creative Directors AGB Events. AGB Events First Nations Advisor and Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO said Listening with Heart encourages people to come together to learn more about Aboriginal culture on country.
“There has been a growing realisation across the nation that Australia has something incredibly unique – its First Peoples. We are the oldest living, adapting culture,” she said.
“The installation at the heart of Parrtjima 2023 will take guests on a journey through the lands surrounding Uluru, Australia’s most iconic landmark. The installation will remind people of the eons of oral storytelling, and the story of Kuniya and Liru that shaped the landscape of Uluru through art.”
To help visitors get the most from their trip to Parrtjima, NTMEC has partnered with Travel Associates to create boutique Red Centre experiences. Combining festival highlights with some of the region’s most iconic tourism offerings, packages include a special Parrtjima Preview Night, a Painting Tour at Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, a Nocturnal Encounter at Alice Springs Desert Park and an insight into bush foods on the Merne Tour.