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International Women’s Day Concert showcased some of Australia's finest

International Women's Day was a fitting choice for the Unity concert, programmed as part of Brunswick Music Festival with an inspiring lineup of female vocalist and spoken word artists. Brunswick Music Festival has again succeeded in bringing culturally diverse musical talent to the 'people's republic of Moreland'. Even those not previously familiar with first performer Parvyn were clearly impressed. She combined traditional and contemporary styles, marrying elements of her Punjabi background and English into her performance.
 
She was joined on stage by Janum Kaur for a duet of an L-Fresh song. Kaur then performed a spoken word piece, which traced the story of her personal search for identity. The audience – which was roughly seventy per cent women – enthusiastically applauded her heartfelt piece.
 
She combined traditional and contemporary styles, marrying elements of her Punjabi background and English into her performance. She was joined on stage by Janum Kaur for a duet of an L-Fresh song. Kaur then performed a spoken word piece, which traced the story of her personal search for identity. The audience – which was roughly seventy per cent women – enthusiastically applauded her heartfelt piece.
 
Next up was Chelsea Wilson, who wished the audience a happy International Womens' Day and movingly acknowledged her experience of family violence – both as a child and as an adult – before launching into a couple of smoky soul numbers. The youngest performer of the evening was the next to grace the stage, the tiny but mighty Emily Wurramurra, originally from Groote Eylandt. Her smile was infectious and her musical talent textured and rich. In the community Emily grew up in she was surrounded by music, but realised women rarely performed in public. She is a role model for young women, and strives to empower others to have the courage to perform.
 
Ajak Kwai was the next vocalist up and she told of chiding a male who was abusive toward her public transport. She asked where he came from and then told him that no, he came from a woman, and he should respect them. He clearly thought about what she said and came and apologised to her before he embarked from the train.
 
Another spoken word performance followed by Sahida Aspira. She performed two distinct pieces, the second of which told of her emotional journey over time from rebellion against her father to forgiveness. Her self-revelation that her father had suffered at the hands of the same patriarchy as she had rebelled from – made for a particularly poignant moment in the evening. There was hardly a dry eye in the crowd. 
 
Kylie Auldist finished off the night with her clearly visible enjoyment on stage translating to a completely engaged audience, who couldn’t help but sing along. Kylie then invited the other artists back on to the stage for two final numbers. The night was a rollercoaster of emotions, but all those who left the venue couldn’t help but feel uplifted and hopeful for the future of women.
 
Loved: Emily Wurramura’s infectious happiness.
 
Hated: Nothing at all.
 
Crowd Favourite: Singing along with Kylie Auldist
 
 
Phots and words by Anna Madden