From 8-17 April 2022, the Parrtjima Festival invites you to stand on Country, honour Indigenous culture, and find your place in the story of the land. The word “parrtjima” (pronounced par-chee-ma) means “to light up”, and it is traditionally used to refer to more than just physical illumination. The term also applies to those times when metaphorical light is directed with the intention of sharing wisdom and understanding. This is precisely the purpose of the Northern Territory’s annual Parrtjima Festival.
Ancient culture meets modern technology
Parrtjima blends the old world with the new, using light as a medium for sharing beauty, art, culture, and an appreciation of the natural environment. Each year, the MacDonnell Ranges and the surrounding desert are transformed through art installations, light displays, music, and cultural performances that allow visitors to connect with the land and the traditional ways of inhabiting and celebrating it.
The event is free to all visitors, and though it asks all artists to stay true to Country and culture, there is also a great amount of freedom afforded to those who contribute to each year’s festival. This results in an incredibly diverse and multidimensional event that can see you walking on carpets of light, gazing up at ever-shifting monoliths, and engaging with the land in ways you never would’ve imagined.
What can you do at Parrtjima 2022?
Each night, as the sun slips beneath the horizon and night sets in, the MacDonnell Ranges will light up, and the festival around you will come alive with glowing installations. In addition to these stunning light shows, you will find a wealth of cultural wonders to explore. Music lovers will want to arrive in time for King Stingray and Jimblah on 8 April; this is also the day to honour the traditional custodians of the land by attending the Welcome to Country and GUTS Dance Performance.
Demonstrations, talks, and workshops are available each day of the festival. These offer some of the most enriching experiences, allowing you to taste bush tucker, learn about traditional painting methods, and gain an understanding of the physics behind the boomerang. You can get physical with dance workshops or take a more relaxing path with pottery, jewellery making, and other creative workshops.
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light takes place 8-17 April 2022 at the Alice Springs Desert Park in the Northern Territory.