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Townsville-Gurambilbarra, QLD
26 July to 04 August 2024


AFCM is thrilled to announce an exciting line-up of AFCM Partnership Projects in 2024, presented in collaboration with some of the region's most dynamic cultural organisations: Dancenorth Australia, the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies, RASN NQ & Topology, and Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

These unique events offer a vibrant blend of music, visual arts, literature and interdisciplinary practices designed to captivate and inspire Festival goers and the Townsville-Gurambilbarra communities. Immerse yourself in innovative performances, thought-provoking video and sound installations, and engaging conversations that highlight the rich artistic talent and cultural diversity of our region. Don’t miss these fantastic opportunities to explore and celebrate the arts with us! 

RASN NQ and Topology

RASN NQ and Topology

Three Generations, Three Songs
Tales of Palm Island that transcend time

FREE EVENT - AFCM Festival Garden

Sat 3 Aug, 6:15pm

Since the first sunrise the Manbarra people have been caretakers of Yunbinan (Yoon-bi-nun) and for more than a century, the patchworked paradise of Palm Island has been stitched together by the 40+ tribes who live there, now known as the Bwgcolman. The people are proud, spirited and - perhaps to outsiders - a little enigmatic.

Three Generations, Three Songs invites audiences to cross the saline waters of Halifax Bay and discover the stories, the strength and the deep love of place that lives in the hearts of the Manbarra and Bwgcolman. This richly emotive performance has been specially crafted for AFCM and features all original songs written by three generations of the same family.

Together, Gail Mabo, Normey Jay and Nashaye share traditional stories and contemporary reflections through their own unique lenses, celebrate the Bwgcolman and Manbarra people and unpack the depth, beauty, and truth of their island home.

Guided by Deline Briscoe, Gail, Normey and Nashaye have explored their own lived experience, consulted with their elders, and engaged with the Palm Island family to bring the Manbarra Bwgcolman stories to stage.

The performance will feature a collaboration between the Manbarra Bwgcolman Songwriters, Topology and AFCM musicians. This unifying experience is the first time for these Palm Island songwriters and will add even richer textures of sound to the stories. 

Three Generations, Three Songs is part of the Creative Heartlands Program, a Strategic Initiative of Topology | RASN North Queensland supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

An Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts & AFCM Co-commission

An Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts & AFCM Co-commission

Shapes of Listening

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Saturday 27th July until Sunday 11th August, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Dancenorth Australia Theatre 

Stanley and Walker Streets, Townsville-Gurambilbarra 

Multichannel video and sound installation

AFCM is pleased to partner with PUNQ Festival to present Shapes of Listening, a new sensorial video and sound installation by Melbourne/Naarm-based artist Sonia Leber and composer David Chesworth.

Leber and Chesworth are known for their distinctive video, sound and architecture-based installations that are audible as much as visible. Their works are speculative and archaeological, often involving communities and hinting at unseen forces and non-human perspectives.

Shapes of Listening prompts questions around the act of listening across the water and forest ecologies of Townsville-Gurambilbarra. What if listening were our primary mode of sensing? How might listening practices influence how we sense, understand, and care for the environment? The word ‘listening’ includes listening to what's actually heard, to what's imagined, and ‘thinking through listening’ in natural ecosystems.

Using unique camera choreographies imbued with an ‘acoustic consciousness’, Leber and Chesworth capture a range of species and people investigating the environment, utilising sensing, tactile methods and specialist microphones (hydrophones, microbat detectors and contact sensors) to explore different presences and absences in key local environments.

Shapes of Listening has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

PUNQ is a place based contemporary art festival from Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts

Shapes of Listening is located at Dancenorth Australia, on the corner of Stanley and Walker Streets, Townsville-Gurambilbarra.

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Dancenorth Australia

Dancenorth Australia

As part of AFCM and PUNQ

A sunrise sound bath in reverence of nature.

Dawn, 26 July to 11 August 2024.

Adult $50

Concession $40

Tickets Via Dancenorth Australia

Expand into stillness.
Sense our interrelationship with the earth.
Be here, together, for this fleeting, magnificent moment.

Merge with the morning as the rising sun paints the ocean in warm hues, the sky a subtle tapestry. A breathtaking canvas for this daily symphony of beauty, awe, and wonder.

STILL is an immersive sonic journey curated by Dancenorth’s Artistic Director Kyle Page. Housed within a stunning architecturally designed space by Liminal Spaces, you and 21 other guests will collectively witness the dawn of a new day while being cradled by the sounds of Canadian composer Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Black Ox Orkestar).

AFCM: 26 July – 3 August
5:45am - Audience asked to arrive
5:50am - Doors open
5:59am - Start
6:45am - End

PUNQ: 6-11 August
5:40am - Audience asked to arrive
5:45am - Doors open
5:54am - Start
6:40am - End

STILL is located at: Wariganda – Pallarenda Beach access #8 

This project was made possible by Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government Initiative, as well as The Canada Council for the Arts.

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Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Colin Roderick Memorial Lecture

Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Colin Roderick Memorial Lecture

Past, Present, Future: Writing Historical Fiction
Mirandi Riwoe in conversation with Emma Maguire

Thursday 1 August, 6:00pm – Townsville Civic Theatre, C2 - FREE EVENT

Giving life and meaning to a minor character from a Somerset Maugham short story in Fish Girl, enriching and expanding North Queensland’s gold rush history in Stone Sky Gold Mountain, and evoking the complex culture of a Dutch East Indies affected by war and imperialism in Sunbirds, Mirandi Riwoe is an award-winning writer of historical fiction. In conversation with Emma Maguire, Mirandi will share her thoughts on writing historical fiction for readers of today and tomorrow. 

Mirandi Riwoe is the author of Stone Sky Gold Mountain, which won the 2020 Queensland Literary Award – Fiction Book Award and the inaugural ARA Historical Novel Prize and was shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize and longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her short story collection, The Burnished Sun, includes the novella, The Fish Girl, which won Seizure Viva la Novella and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her work has appeared in Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review and Best Summer Stories. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and lives in Brisbane.

Dr Emma Maguire is a Lecturer in English and Writing at James Cook University. She writes short fiction, essays, and criticism. Her literary and scholarly work explores girls’ and women’s experiences of selfhood, power, and pain.

Please register attendance via the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies