Origins: Heritage of First Nations

a project by Border Crossings

Origins 2009

In its very programming, [Origins] reveals what art itself can mean for indigenous people as something inextricably tied to healing, ecological balance and spirituality. - The Guardian


Origins 2009 was the UK`s inaugural festival of First Nations creative arts, bringing together groundbreaking artists from the indigenous cultures of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.  For two weeks in May, at venues across London, this first festival explored First Nations experience in the twenty-first century through theatre, film screenings, and participation.


A fascinating - and entertaining – couple of weeks - Australian Times


From the eclectic mix of themes and performances that made up the 2009 festival, the Learning and Participation programme aimed to offer a space in which young people could find alternatives to the creative barrenness and environmental unsustainability of contemporary existence.  From a collaboration with visiting artists from many First Nations groups, Dan Allum and the Romany Theatre Company, along with Polygon Arts, created O Patrin, The Way – a play that toured schools across London.


The play, which was accompanied by workshops, aimed to educate Romany people and members of wider society in the Romany Gypsy culture by examining the cultural significance of language, land relations, cultural definitions, oral culture and continuity, themes which are shared by the peoples with whom the company collaborated. The play featured some rarely heard Romani language and focused on aspects of history and identity, providing new opportunities for those involved in the performance as well as those watching it to learn about and better understand these rich, diverse and yet shared cultures.


For the education pack associated with this project click here.


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