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Twenty years of Indigenous theatre celebrated at Bunjilaka

Twenty years of Indigenous theatre celebrated at Bunjilaka
June 14, 2010

A retrospective exhibition showcasing 20 groundbreaking years of the internationally acclaimed Ilbijerri Theatre Company will go on show at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum from 9th July 2010.

20 Years: Bold. Black. Brilliant. is part of a lively and inspiring program of exhibitions and events at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre this winter that celebrate Indigenous culture, history and survival. The exhibition will be showcased alongside From Little Things Big Things Grow, an exhibition about Aboriginal activism in Australia between 1920 and 1970.

20 Years: Bold. Black. Brilliant. marks the twentieth anniversary of the Ilbijerri Theatre Company, which was created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in Melbourne in response to seeing non-Indigenous theatre companies telling Indigenous stories.

As Rachael Maza Long, Ilbijerri's Artistic Director, explains "it all started with a group of Indigenous actors sitting around in a backyard saying âwe need our own theatre company to tell our stories our way."

From this passion, a professional theatre company was born, whose plays explore a range of complex and controversial issues from a uniquely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective. This belief in 'the power of black voices telling black stories' still drives the company.

From the breakthrough production of Stolen, commissioned in 1992, to the upcoming world premiere of Jack Charles v The Crown, the company has toured nationally and internationally, finding resonance and critical acclaim with Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences alike.

Curated by Ben McKeown, 20 Years: Bold. Black. Brilliant. will give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at life in the theatre company through objects including sets, props and photography from Ilbijerri productions.

The exhibition will open on 9th July during NAIDOC Week (4th to 11th July), a week that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognises the contributions of Indigenous Australians. Bunjilaka will celebrate the occasion with performances of Jacky Jacky in the Box from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July between 11am and 3pm.

First performed in 2008, Jacky Jacky in the Box is confronting performance in which an Aboriginal performer goes on display in the museum galleries, challenging audiences to reconsider perceptions of Indigenous Australia as an anthropological curiosity.

20 Years: Bold. Black. Brilliant. is presented as part of the Bunjilaka Community Exhibition Program, an annual program of changing exhibitions in Bunjilaka's Birrarung Gallery celebrating the creativity of individual Koorie artists and communities from across Victoria.

22nd March 2010 - TITANIC EXHIBITION EMBARKS FOR MELBOURNE 

27th October 2009 - A DAY IN POMPEII - AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR MUSEUM EXHIBITION 


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