Refugee & Asylum Seekers Festival 2005


Dazzling music and dance performances from Melbourne’s refugee communities, a unique cultural marketplace, the inaugural Soccer Carnival and a hit play by notable Australian writer Linda Jaivin are just some of the highlights of this year’s Refugee and Asylum Seekers Festival.

Ethiopian dancers

Ethiopian dancers

The festival, now in its second year, commemorates United Nations World Refugee Day and celebrates the lives and cultures of Melbourne’s newly arrived refugee communities. Refugees coming from war-torn countries like Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia are the largest group of recent asylum seekers living in Australia.

This unique three day festival will feature:

Seeking Djira on Friday 17 June from 6.30pm
To launch the festival, Essential Theatre will perform Linda Jaivin’s 2003 hit satire, Seeking Djira. It is a comedy about self-obsession, social conscience, sexual attraction and the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. Directed by David Myles it looks at the plight of asylum seekers in Australia and our attitude towards them.

The Horn of Africa Communities Network Youth Theatre Group will also be presenting a new short work, Dancing in the Museum. It is directed by Sudanese playwright Ateif Awad and explores the difficulties of being caught between traditional African and Western cultures.

Julian Burnside QC will open this special event. Tickets available at the door: $5.00

Soccer Carnival on Saturday 18 June from 12-5pm at Maribyrnong Reserve.
The inaugural Soccer Carnival will see four teams from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan battle to take the trophy. The day will be colourful and exciting, with live African drumming, prominent players in attendance and a halal and vegetarian BBQ.

Festival on Sunday June 19, 12-5pm Fitzroy Town Hall & Napier Street, Fitzroy.
The Fitzroy Town Hall comes alive with a stunning showcase of contemporary and traditional music, dance and culture.

Performers include: Nadia Elbana, Somali Dancers, Orahms Band and Soukous Ba Congo. They will share the stage with a number of emerging artists mentored through Multicultural Arts Victoria’s unique VISIBLE artists program and include: Sudan Azza, Azchefari, South Sudan Musica, Lion of Judah and the Sudanese Catholic Choir.

Authentic foods and the wonderful aromas of a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, enjoy the hustle and bustle of a vibrant and diverse marketplace, and dynamic cultural workshops. There will also be a range of free children’s activities.

Multicultural Arts Victoria presents the Refugee and Asylum Seekers Festival 2005 from 17 “ 19 June at the Fitzroy Town Hall and Napier Street Fitzroy. For details please call: 9417 6777.

For further information or to arrange interviews, phone Anita on 9417 6777 or 0401 658 158 or Magda Petkoff on 9328 4522 or 0409 436 473

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