23 Nov 2017News
New Beginnings Festival in Spring provides launchpad for refugees
The Uganda Cultural Group gets festival crowds moving with traditional dance.
Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park hosted the SSI New Beginnings Festival in Spring, where hundreds gathered to enjoy the musical, culinary and artistic talents of people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The event had many newly arrived refugees come and join the festivities.
SSI’s Ability Links NSW program also had a presence at the festival, showcasing the talents of individuals from the community who live with disability.
Pictured with SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis (third from the left) is Kaelin Bird, a visual artist from Jindabyne who has been working with Ability Links NSW to achieve her goals.
The festival showcased a jam-packed program of musical and dance performances that astounded audiences, including Sendas Salvadoreñas, an El Salvadoran dance and music performance group that celebrates the diversity of Latin American culture through rich storytelling.
Sendas Salvadoreñas performing acrobatic dance moves.
Dynamic hip hop and afro beats were performed by renowned Ugandan artist Kween G, who came to Australia after her family was granted asylum. Listen to a recent interview with SSI’s Carolina Triana and Kween on ABC’s Evening Show here.
Hip hop artist Kween G gets crowds bopping to phenomenal beats.
Guitar riffs played by classical guitarist Sako Dermenijan drove shivers up audiences’ spines. Sako is an Armenian classical guitarist who sought refuge after the war broke out in his country.
Sako’s musical talents move festival audiences.
The festival’s finale comprised a mesmerising performance from Worlds Collide, which fuses contemporary Australian music with African rhythms, Uyghur song cycles, funk beats, soaring vocals and hip hop rhymes.
World Collide wrap up the festival with outstanding beats.
Now in its third year, the New Beginnings Festival in Spring is the brainchild of Carolina Triana — the 2017 recipient of the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal for Arts & Culture, which recognised her work with refugees and people seeking asylum. It is one of several events that make up the broader SSI New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival.
Stay tuned for the next New Beginnings Festival event, which will take place as part of Refugee Week in June 2018. For more information on the New Beginnings Festival in Spring, click here.