Melbourne festival an artistic celebration of activism


Activist Arts Festival
The Bella Union, Carlton South
November 15, 12.30pm

Sea Shepherd, Amnesty and Refugee Action Collective are among a range of activist groups involved in the Activist Arts Festival, an initiative set to connect local communities with activist groups across Melbourne in a non-protest environment.

Activism has always played a huge role in overcoming social injustice all over the world. It is a form of community empowerment and encourages individuals to speak out about issues they feel are wrong or unjust.

The festival will celebrate different forms of activism through art, incorporating photography, music, spoken word, paintings and film. It features spoken word artists such as Abe Nouk and Gabriela Georges; protest musicians Les Thomas, Saint Jude, Kate Bart, Little Foot and punk band Sordid Ordeal; film-maker Molly George; artists Melissa Jayne Curtis, Anna Maria Drutzel and Thomas Albert Mills; and photographers Chris Peterson, and Ali Bakhtiarvandi.

Also taking part in the festival are Friends of the Earth, Equal Love, Animal Liberation Victoria, Melbourne Spoken Word, Quit Coal, and many more.

This year has been a busy one for protests, rallies and activism, and it is with this in mind that event organiser Celine Yap conceived the idea for the festival.

“We've seen campaigning this year on issues ranging from shark culls, refugees and asylum seeker policies, to budget cuts and Israeli/Palestinian war,” said Yap.

“The public community, though aware of these issues, may sometimes shy away from such huge gatherings as they may find them to be quite overwhelming or intimidating in some cases.

“The festival will increase awareness for participants involved of how to access and be involved in activism in Melbourne in a non-protest setting, and strengthen relationships and bonds formed between communities of activists from separate streams.”

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