Home » Newcastle’s New Annual Festival celebrates the vibrancy of African culture and the fusion of global and local artistry.

Newcastle’s New Annual Festival celebrates the vibrancy of African culture and the fusion of global and local artistry.

by  Africa Media Australia

Newcastle’s New Annual Festival celebrates the vibrancy of African culture and the fusion of global and local artistry.
This September, Newcastle welcomes back New Annual festival, a ten-day extravaganza of art, culture, and creativity, poised to transform the cityscape fromSeptember 22 to October 1, 2023. With a diverse range of free and affordable events,
the festival offers something for everyone, spanning the realms of contemporary dance, theatre, live music, and immersive cultural workshops.

New Annual celebrates the many diasporas that call Newcastle home and explores the fusion of global and local artistry. While the festival encompasses diverse creative expressions, the spotlight is firmly on one event that promises to captivate hearts andminds with its celebration of African culture and rich migrant stories.





Atong Atem
Internationally renowned photographer Atong Atem presents striking video and photographic portraiture in her first exhibition in Newcastle. Exploring the lesser-known history of Australia’s first African settlers, the exhibition presents migrant stories and obscured layers of history through a cinematic lens.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the beguiling video work  Banksia, accompanied by a captivating score composed by Jerry Agbinya.  Banksia sheds light on the experiences of African men and women who arrived on the First Fleet in 1788—a
colonial history that predates Atem’s own family’s migration from Ethiopia to the Central
Coast in 1997. Accompanying the video installation are Atem’s magnificent large-scale
photographic prints and vibrant portraits.

The exhibition is a vivid exploration of the cultural dynamics of belonging to multiple places and how this complex history is preserved and expressed through visualrepresentations and tangible objects.
The exhibition runs daily from Friday 22 October with free events and public programs across the festival dates.





Global Gathering
Experience the colour, sound, taste and diversity of Newcastle’s multicultural community at Global Gathering, a vibrant celebration of diverse traditions, food, art forms, and cultural expressions. Join Yumi Stynes as she MCs her way across two stages for food demonstrations, live music and dance performances. Get involved and learn new dance
styles, Henna and even Chinese Lantern Making.


Ngiarrenumba Burrai (Our Country)

Explore Australia’s First Nation history with Ngiarrenumba Burrai (Our Country). A program throughout the festival that centres on Awabakal cultural practice, people and stories. Experience cultural performances and discover daily workshops being held in art, language, clap sticks, dance, bush tucker, tools and spears, and canoeing.


This Land
If you enjoy music, don’t miss This Land, a free First Nations music concert. There are many voices that shape this nation, but none stronger and more connected than the First Peoples of this country. Join us for a sensational line-up of nationally renowned and local First Nations artists, and celebrate the sound, soul and spirit of the many
nations of this land. The festival’s blend of local and international talent, coupled with its commitment to
fostering meaningful cultural exchange, makes it a must-attend event for anyone seeking to engage with the diverse tapestry of humanity.For more information and to explore the event schedule, visit the official website:

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