Solidarity Project Series
Our response to COVID-19
The Solidarity Project Series is our way of providing financial support for independent artists during a period where the COVID-19 pandemic has left many artists without work.
The results of the Solidarity Project Series will be showcased at our End-of-Year Yirra Yaakin Family Picnic.
The Series was born from a call-out for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) distributed via social media. The call-out allowed artists to come to us with ideas on ways they could keep creating and/or up-skill during the era of social distancing.
The EOIs would outline how we could support artists to realise art that might be ‘burning to get out of them’, and how we could be a means through which they engage with other artists to get through this time safely – in Solidarity.
From the EOIs we received, we selected the following projects to support.
Cracked – the graphic novel
Our 2019 production of Cracked will be adapted into a graphic novel by the play’s original writer, Barbara Hostalek.
We will fund Barb’s participation in a Neil Gaiman masterclass where she will learn about writing for a graphic novel format, providing her with a springboard from which to begin the process of creating Cracked – the graphic novel.
Wondabah Giray – development of a new work
Nadia Martich (Yirra Yaakin Writers’ Group member) will develop a new interactive, site specific theatre/dance work exploring Blackfulla ghost stories from around Australia.
We will fund the creation of Wondabah Giray.
The People on the Hill – script development
Chelinay Gates (Yirra Yaakin Writers’ Group member) will be financially supported to write a new full-length work, The People on the Hill.
With The People on the Hill, Chelinay aims to work with and honour the members of our community that are so very often forgotten, the families living in desperate situations, and those that feel like no one can see or hear them.
Yirra Play Club
The Yirra Play Club is a virtual space to read and discuss plays!
We are hosting a series of play reading sessions. Each session will be facilitated by a different member of the Club, who will pick a play and run a reading of it. Readings will be followed by a discussion of the work.
Participants may contribute to the readings and discussions of plays as much or as little as they like.
The Yirra Play Club will be an ongoing project for the foreseeable future. We aim to expand it nationally and even internationally as we establish healthy and appropriate ways to connect as restrictions ease.
"Which Way?" First Nations Virtual Poetry Workshops
– all Aboriginal people everywhere
With our “Which Way?” First Nations Virtual Poetry Workshops, we hope to again engage with First Nations emerging or aspiring poets and provide a platform for them to develop their writing and performance poetry skills.
Jennifer Compton (a world-renowned playwright and poet) will run a series of virtual poetry workshops from her base in Melbourne.
The workshops will be open to up to 10 Western Australian emerging Aboriginal poets, who will have to opportunity draw on Jennifer’s unparalleled knowledge of this art from.
Update: The “Which Way?” First Nations Virtual Poetry Workshops are now complete. The workshops ran over four weeks, commencing on 30 May 2020 and concluding on 20 June 2020.
Yirra Yaakin AUSLAN Group
Paving the way for the first Aboriginal AUSLAN interpreter.
Earlier this year we presented Hecate, an adaptation of Macbeth entirely in Noongar, the Aboriginal language of the south-west of Western Australia.
In doing so, we realised that there was no way we could present shows that are entirely in, or contain, First Nations language/s to people with hearing impediments because there are no First Nations AUSLAN interpreters.
As a first step towards remedying this, a group of our independent artists and staff will be meeting fortnightly to learn AUSLAN while in isolation and beyond.
We hope that this will lead to further employment opportunities for participating artists, and the ability to interpret works that have been adapted and translated into Aboriginal languages.
In this way, we hope to increase the accessibility of our future shows.
We rely on you, our community, for our future creative and cultural programs. Your donations, encouragement and friendship provide vital support for the ongoing development of our artists and our work. Help us share Aboriginal stories by becoming a donor today!