Australia’s largest Indigenous gathering, Garma Festival, is back in the Northern Territory after being canceled for two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival, which usually attracts 2,500 visitors, is due to take place from July 29 to August 1 in northeastern Arnhem Land at Gulkula, an important ceremonial site on the Gove Peninsula.
“There’s always a lot of excitement in the air ahead of Garma, but it’s even more special this year after so many times apart,” Yothu Yindi Foundation chief executive Denise Bowden said Friday.
Garma is a celebration of the cultural, artistic and ceremonial traditions of the Yolngu people.
In the past, this has also been an event to discuss the many issues facing Indigenous Australians.
Participants often include high-ranking politicians, business leaders and academics.
The theme for this year’s event is Nhanga Ngathilyurra, which is a Yolngu expression meaning to look forward or look into the future.
“Our art centers are bursting with new works to share with our guests, and local bands and musicians are jumping at the chance to get back on stage and perform again,” Ms Bowden said.
The 2021 festival was canceled in May last year over fears visitors to Gulkula could spread COVID-19 to the many indigenous communities in the Top End.
The Gove Peninsula is approximately 1000 kilometers by road from Darwin.
Australian Associated Press