ORIGINS – Festival of First Nations

• October 6, 2013 • Comments (0)

ORIGINS FESTIVAL, LONDON. Wednesday 23 October – Sunday 3 November

For a packed twelve days from 23 October to 3 November 2013, Border Crossings brings to London some of the world’s foremost indigenous musicians, dancers and choreographers, theatre-makers, visual artists, film-makers and cooks, to perform and inform, to exhibit and explain, to debate and celebrate at Origins 2013. Through its 25 events, the festival examines how we in the West can learn important values from indigenous First Nations in relation to the environment, human rights and community, and celebrates the creativity of their cultures.

Programme highlights include:

When my Spirit Raised its Hands (2001) European Premiere 

Fri 1- Sat 2 Nov at Rich Mix

This one-woman play written and performed by Diane Benson (Democratic candidate for Vice-Governor) and commissioned and produced by the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, Alaska, provides context and re-enactment of the historic speech made by Tlingit (native people of Alaska) leader, Elizabeth Peratrovich, to the all male Alaska Territorial Legislature in 1945. Her speech meant Alaska became the first “state” to pass a solid Anti-Discrimination bill. Peratrovich is known as the Martin Luther King of Native Americans.

Fiona Foley lecture Festival Exclusive

Fiona Foley

Wed 30 Oct at Rich Mix

This year’s Origins Lecture is given by the leading Australian Aboriginal artist Fiona Foley. Famed for her often controversial public pieces, for example a sculpture outside Brisbane Magistrates’ Court which secretly commemorated the massacres of indigenous people in Queensland, Fiona’s work can currently be seen at the Royal Academy and Bargehouse. She is also Adjunct Professor with Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland.

Copper Promises (2012) European premiere

Copper Promises

Fri 25 – Sat 26 Oct at The Place

Copper Promises is a dance piece choreographed and danced by Victoria Hunt which explores the cultural and physical journey of Hinemihi: a Māori meeting house, now located in Clandon Park, Surrey. Hinemihi’s story is interwoven with Victoria Hunt’s own journey: of finding family, of reconnecting with her culture and of learning from land, ancestors and peers. It is a lament, a pilgrimage, a protest for ancestral treasures – Taonga.

Gudirr Gudirr (2013) UK Premiere

Wed 30 – Thu 31 Oct at The Place

Gudirr Gudirr calls a warning, the guwayi bird calls when the tide is turning — to miss the call is to drown. This intimate solo dance and video work choreographed and performed by Dalisa Pigram and co-choreographed by Koen Ausgustinen is by turns hesitant, restless, resilient and angry. Gudirr Gudirr lights a path from a broken past through a fragile present and on to a future still in the making.

Indigie-Femme Festival Exclusive

Sun 27 Oct at Rich Mix

Creative forces merge when the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together through songs and stories. Tash Terry, born and raised on the Navajo Reservation, and Elena Higgins, born in New Zealand of Maori and Samoan heritage, are the powerful musical duo, Indigie Femme.
This will be an afternoon of music and healing with two extraordinary women.

Bran Nue Dae Festival Exclusive

Tue 29 Oct at Rich Mix

Bran Nue Dae is a charming, music-driven road movie/romcom starring Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush alongside leading indigenous actors Deborah Mailman (Sapphires), Ernie Dingo and Stephen “Baamba” Albert. Full of unbridled energy and fun, the film is based on one of Australia’s most beloved and popular musicals. Bran Nue Dae is a foot stomping tour-de- force centering on the romantic adventures of a young aboriginal couple set against the spectacularly beautiful Australian bush.




For the full festival listings, see here: ORIGINS 2013 Festival Programme

For more information about the festival and Border Crossings, see here:



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Category: Events, Spotlight, Uncategorized

Amy Woodrow Arai

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Since graduating with a degree in politics and development, Amy has been working on issues concerned with Indigenous rights, biodiversity protection, alternative economics and action on global climate change. She worked with the Native Spirit Foundation, which provides a platform for dialogue between the Indigenous world and modern societies, coordinating an annual film festival and workshops, screenings and events through the year. She also worked at the Gaia Foundation, working with communities to revive Indigenous knowledge to secure land, seed, food and water sovereignty and to protect Sacred Natural Sites. She worked specifically on highlighting the devastating impact of the global extractive industries and supporting communities to strengthen resistance to mining in their territories. Concerning the challenges that face humanity today, she believes that there is much to learn (and re-learn) from Indigenous cultures and traditional knowledge. She is also excited by the many possibilities and social movements presenting alternatives to our unsustainable global economy.

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