Parrtjima: A Festival in Light

Unique festival lights up Alice Springs this April.

Words: Emma Pham

Parrtjima festival returns this year in blazing glory to light up two kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs. Marking its fifth annual celebration, the program is a dazzling gala for Indigenous art, culture and music.

Parrtjima 2020 is about uplifting artistic spirit. Spanning 10 nights, new illuminations seek to tell age old Aboriginal stories. Audiences are encouraged to embrace this spirit, as they get lost within the world of colourful lights and creative knowledge.

The innovative light and art event will feature large-scale installations in the middle of a desert landscape. Among the astounding work includes an enormous glowing sphere, Grass Seed, suspended metres in the air, a four-metre high flower and a towering emu set amongst the red sands of Desert Park. Visitors are invited to partake in a series of hands-on workshops exploring watercolour painting, dot painting, sculpture making and traditional foods.

This year’s music program offers six nights of live entertainment with performances by Casey Donovan, Archie Roach, Shellie Morris, OKA and Southeast Desert Metal. A series of conversations will be held within the Deep Listening program in which free movie sessions of Aussie favourites and talks hosted by festival curator, Rhoda Roberts.

Parrtjima sees artists, storytellers and academics come together to share knowledge, using the power of art to illuminate and pass down the stories of Aboriginal culture.

The Parrtjima Festival runs from 3–12 April in Alice Springs, NT.

Image: Parrtjima Festival

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