Australian festivals have turned their back on Asia

Instead of encouraging an artistic conversation with our neighbours, our festivals tend to focus on European culture.
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Margaret Leng Tan’s Cabinet of Curiousities has its Adelaide premiere at this year’s OzAsia Festival. Photo credit: Kong Chong Yew.  

Across the world, from Eurovision to the Santiago a Mil International Theatre Festival, cultural conversations between nations tend to be strongest among geo-political neighbours. But not in Australia, argues Andrew Ross, Artistic Director of the Darwin Festival.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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