Always Was Always Will Be - Walking Together

FT Stage 2, Wed 4th Oct, 11:30am, 1 Hour Facilitator: Eva Grace Mullaley 1st Provocateur: Ali Murphy Oates

The National Blackfulla Performing Arts Alliance would like to invite everyone to discuss the current ecology of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts Sector within the mainstream: what are we aspiring to achieve together? What opportunities are out there and what is needed? How can we continue collective and collaborative excellence across the nation?

Key Points (Updated Live)

  • We need to get out of the “white stream” and start to make work including and prioritising First Nations people

  • Non indigenous people: does it make you uncomfortable to introduce yourself and participate in discussions about indigenous people/art?

  • Where does aboriginal theatre fit on a spectrum between high school drama and the biggest budget main stage shows?

  • Response: generally mid range. Funding cuts are pushing us down the ladder. Eva believes that is coming into a position of power.

  • Aboriginal people as actors are engaging in performances, but Aboriginal play writes are under represented.

  • 94% of people think that Aboriginal theatre is important. 20% of people actually see it.

  • Venues, people and audiences want Aboriginal art: but where is the money? “We don’t have the funding”

  • In reality they don’t want to take the risk of funding these shows.

  • As enthusiastic as everyone is, we still don’t encourage and support minority groups, and allow them to break into the main stage

  • Do we want to mainstream or do we want to keep our unique niche?

  • The model of the mainstream won’t be broken until we (the minority) are part of it as leadership

  • We have proven time and time again that we don’t need people to talk for us, what we need is to own our culture and talk as individuals. Own who we are.

  • The arts has always been the vanguard for social change.

  • What does an empowered and embraced black theatre look like? Where does it start? Response: completely run by Aboriginal people.

  • “Black representation” companies are still 75% run by white people.

  • How do we walk forward together: we already are. Being here today is proof of that. Let’s keep walking together in the future.