First Nations Languages onstage: a new era

As part of NAIDOC week 2021, ArtsHub spoke with three prominent First Nations performing arts leaders who discussed the surging power of Language on our stages.

It’s often said that language equals identity. In Australia, there are over 250 different Indigenous language groups recorded, yet only a fraction of these are still spoken today. In this climate – where so many traditional languages are at risk – companies like Bangarra Dance Theatre, ILBIJERRI and Yirra Yaakin are cementing the importance of culture and contributing to its survival by placing Language at the heart of their work.


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Jo Pickup
About the Author
ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for WA arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at WAAPA.