This year’s Biennale of Sydney will begin with aabaakwad 2020 NIRIN, a multi-day program of events focussed on Indigenous arts and cultures that will include live performance art programs, artist Q&As and musical events. Running from March 14–17, performances and programs will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Cockatoo Island and Sydney Opera House.
Informal, in-depth conversations between artists, scholars and curators are the focus of aabaakwad 2020 NIRIN. The ultimate goal of these conversations is to create dynamic dialogue that examines the themes, materials and experiences taking place in contemporary Indigenous art practice globally.
The event will feature artists, curators and thinkers from more than 24 First Nations and 13 countries, including Heather Igloliorte, Candice Hopkins, Lori Blondeau, Cris Derksen, Amy Malbeuf, Taqralik Partridge, David Ruben Piktoukun, asinnajaq and Jordan Bennett.
aabaakwad was first launched in 2018 by the AGO’s Curator of Indigenous Art, Anishinaabe scholar Wanda Nanibush. This iteration sees Nanibush and the AGO operating in collaboration with the Biennale of Sydney and its Artistic Director, Wiradjuri artist and scholar Brook Andrew.
“Part of my vision for aabaakwad was that conversations around Indigenous arts be Indigenous-led, creating greater moments for healing and transformation,” said Nanibush. “Given the many challenges faced by communities around the world—from the impact of environmental changes and concerns about food or water sovereignty, to disputes over borders, languages, and cultures—we see an opportunity to address these issues through Indigenous philosophies, environmental knowledge systems, creativity and education.”
“NIRIN centres Indigenous thought, philosophy and creativity, opening up dialogues in many directions, and telling stories that have long been marginalized, ignored or even deliberately erased. Bringing together so many Indigenous artists and creatives to share knowledge and think together will be incredibly powerful,” said Andrew.
For a complete schedule, as well as further information on participants and ticket availability, please see: www.biennaleofsydney.art/events