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Blak & Bright Festival Opening Event

Blak and Bright

Event Date: 18 March 2022
Author / Presenters: Philly, James Henry, Steven Rhall, Bryan Andy, Jazz Money, Crystal McKinnon, Glenn Shea

Join us to celebrate the offical opening of the 2022 Blak & Bright Literary Festival! Witness, Solace, the commissioned performance by Philly, Bryan Andy, James Henry and Steven Rhall, exploring men’s mental health. Followed by a special guest talking to the theme, ‘What’s Changed? What’s Stayed the Same?’, with spotlight on writers Jazz Money, Alexis Wright, Crystal McKinnon, with Glenn Shea.

Free – bookings essential.

6.00pm—8.30pm @ The Capitol


Phillip Murray aka PHILLY is a Hip Hop star with a huge following. Touring regularly, he’s signed with independent Indigenous music label Payback Records. He won the National Noel Tovey Achievement Award, and was Mildura’s NAIDOC Artist of the Year 2010. ‘I like to write motivational, uplifting lyrics for me and my community and feel like reaching out to more and more people. I feel like trying to keep kids inspired to do something positive with their life. I think everyone wants to hear music to make kids proud of being Aboriginal in Australia today. Me myself – I’m aiming for the top!’

James Henry is Yuwaalaraay, Gamilaraay, Yorta Yorta and Yuin composer. His exhilarating and immersive compositions include Madhanbaa Mayrraa and Seasons in Blak for Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival. He has also performed guitar for the Archie Roach Into the Bloodstream tour and is a founding member of Skin Choir. www.jameshenrymusic.net

Steven Rhall (he/him) is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, cis male positionality, geographically located on neighbouring Woiwurrung and Wathaurung lands. Rhall’s cultural background consists of Taungurung and colonial heritages – a state endemic to living in a colonised society – but goes by Taungurung when asked. His alter-ego Blak Metal is less defined and uses they/them pronouns. Rhall’s art practice finds expression in ideas of institutional critique, interrogating modes of representation, classification and hierarchy both within and external to the art world(s). He works across various forms and interventions, including installation, performance, process-led methodologies, curatorial projects, sculpture and art within the public realm. Many of his projects propose, explore and critique the exchange of economic and cultural capital found in the matrix of relations and intersections of First Nation art production, presentation and encounter. Rhall is represented by MARS Gallery and is a PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia). www.stevenrhall.com

Bryan Andy (he/him) is a Yorta Yorta man from Cummeragunja, NSW. Bryan is a freelance writer, radio broadcaster and theatremaker. He has been published by Lonely Planet, NITV, ABC Online, IndigenousX, the Guardian, Witness Performance and Meanjin. Bryan is the host of ACMI’s First Nations Film Club. He identifies as gay.

Jazz Money (she/they) is a poet and artist of Wiradjuri heritage, a fresh-water woman currently based on beautiful sovereign Gadigal land. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz’s writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Their poetry has been recognised with the 2020 David Unaipon Award, the Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert Poetry Prize, the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship and a First Nations Emerging Career Award from the Australian Council for the Arts, amongst others. Trained as a filmmaker and arts worker, Jazz specialises in story telling, community collaboration and digital production, working with First Nations artists and communities to realise digital projects. Jazz’s debut collection ‘how to make a basket’ is available now from University of Queensland Press. www.jazz.money

Dr Crystal McKinnon is an Amangu Yamatji academic, researcher and community organiser. She is a historian and a critical Indigenous studies scholar, who is currently working at RMIT as a Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre. Her research work has looked at concepts of Indigenous sovereignty, justice and law, and Indigenous social movements, resistance and protest. Crystal is the co-editor of Aboriginal History journal, and of History, Power and Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies (UTS ePress, 2014), and her work has been published in many books and journals, the most recent including Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies (2020), Cambridge Legal History of Australia (2021), Biography, and Australian Feminist Law Journal. She has extensive governance experience having previously served for a number of years on the Boards of both Flat Out and of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Associated Limited, and she is currently a director on the Board of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and she sits on the steering committee for the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women.

Glenn Shea (he/him) is an Elder and respected Person NAIDOC 2020 Wathaurong Aboriginal Community/Cooperative. Glen produced, wrote and directed, An Indigenous Trilogy, May 2022 La Mama Theatre/The Storyteller. Studying Deakin University, Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Research and inventor of the board game titled “THE STORYTELLER” for blended learning face to face and online delivery. Researching the 40 year history of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative. Commissioned to write “Treasuring Life” for Treasuring Life suicide prevention network and Country Arts SA. Facilitator DHHS Barwon Region, reconciliation action plan for regional neighbourhood houses. Producer Mi:Wi 3027 Adelaide Fringe 2021. Current Board Member Ilbijerri Theatre Company.

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