Acclaimed multi-arts FUSE Festival returns this September

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Acclaimed multi-arts FUSE Festival returns this September

Words by Staff Writer

City of Darebin’s FUSE Festival has announced the appointment of Allara Briggs Pattison as Curator-in-Residence for Ganbu Gulin, which launches the City of Darebin's multi-arts festival FUSE Spring 2024, taking place 14 – 22 September.

Ganbu Gulin, meaning One Mob in Woi-Wurrung language, is a co-created event with Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Ganbu Gulin is the opening event at FUSE Spring.

On Saturday 14 September, this annual inclusive celebration welcomes all Darebin citizens, existing and new, to Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.

FUSE Festival

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Allara builds on this with her thematic curated offering of live music, visual art, panel talk and community participatory workshops. This free event is an invitation to all community members to acknowledge, respect and learn from Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung the Traditional Owners, and celebrate First Nations artists.

Allara is a powerful Yorta Yorta winyarr. She is a storyteller, composer, director, producer, musician, and sound designer. With humour and integrity, Allara uses the double-bass and sound samples from Country to weave textures for healing in her work “I am Sovereign, I am Free”. Allara’s innovative music speaks to Blak justice and sovereignty.

She was the recipient of the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent (Music Victoria Awards 2021) and is a founding member of Ensemble Dutala. Allara is driven by collaboration and improvisation, inspired to bring language and cultural practice to the forefront of her work. Mentored by matriarchal Songwomen; her Djetja, Dr Lou Bennett AM, Deborah Cheetham AO and anganya Nancy Bates, Allara has become an unstoppable force for love, art, music and transformation, empowered by her yakapna (family) and her Ancestors, dhama yenbena (old people). Allara ‘s work often explores themes of identity, community, and resilience, aligning with FUSE Festival’s mission to celebrate and uplift local talent.

In appreciation of NAIDOC week, Allara reflects on how she views her role and Ganbu Gulin’s purpose in relation to this year’s NAIDOC theme of Keep the Fire Burning.

“Blak, loud and proud, we let those sparks fly through our songs and ceremony to light a cool burn, slowly but steadily cleaning out old colonial formats to make space for justice for our people, waters, lands and kin, as well as standing in solidarity and power with all oppressed peoples across the world. Together with Wurundjeri, on Woi Wurrung Country.

“Join us in listening deeply to the wisdom of Country, Mother Earth who imbeds story and lore within her, and within us when we learn to understand. Ganbu Gulin, will remind us of ways we can care for and connect to Country and show us ways to respect our place here.”

Full FUSE Festival program coming soon

FUSE Festival attendees can look forward to experiencing a unique blend of art forms that involve live performances, exhibitions, talks and public programs. FUSE Festival is excited to embark on a creative journey celebrating the creativity of Darebin’s community.

As part of the festival, Darebin offers FUSE@Large, an open-access program that provides opportunities for local artists and creatives to activate Darebin in unexpected, delightful ways.

FUSE@Large welcomes anyone and everyone putting on an event in Darebin to participate and is a chance for artists and community members to test, experiment and try out ideas in front of a local audience. FUSE works to remove as many barriers as possible to highlight community and presents an opportunity to make invaluable local, creative, and professional connections. It is a way to develop new material, push the boundaries of art, or find a new audience for an already established piece. Registrations are now open for City of Darebin community members to showcase their art.

Additionally, nominations are now open for the Darebin Community Awards, which recognise individuals and groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the Darebin community. The Darebin Community Awards will be awarded in nine categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Leader of the Year, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Emerging Young Community Leader of the Year, Community Group of the Year, Sustainability Award either awarded for an individual or Community Group, Lifetime Achievement Award, CALD Elder Community Leader of the Year and CALD Emerging Community Leader of the Year.

About FUSE

FUSE is the City of Darebin’s multi-arts festival—providing a platform for local artists, designers and performers to transform our amazing city into a dynamic hub of creativity. FUSE allows artists and audiences alike to enjoy Darebin’s streets, parks, venues, theatres, galleries and public spaces as transformative zones—infused with the power of art, culture, and creativity.

For the latest info, head here.