“In a world where our constant cyber-connection seems to impose a paradoxical state of disconnectedness, where “friend” has become a verb and “memory” is a word to describe storage capacity, it’s important sometimes to find our physical place again around the fire and remember just how vital and dynamic and irreplaceable the older and more enduring modes of human communication are. The live, ephemeral performance. The song sung with conviction and honesty. The plain old unhip, unironic, unselfconscious conversation, as human voices from opposite sides of the world share ideas and visions. These things are alive and risky; they’ve been comforting and challenging and entertaining us for millenia and will always be there waiting for us when we lift our eyes from the screen and look again for a deeper, richer reconnection. I invite you to immerse yourself in this wonderful exchange of words, stories, music and images, and revel in the human creativity that has brought them to you. Respond, share, think, laugh, cry – that’s what we’re here for.” Cate Kennedy – Festival Patron
With its wide-open spaces, unique wildlife, diverse heritage, melting pot cities and home to the oldest culture in the world, it’s no wonder Australia is the land of dreams for many.
Reality and myths of Australia will be explored from September 28-30 2012 at the L’Esplanade in Divonne-les-Bains, France. The ‘Australia Festival’ will explore the history and contemporary culture of this diverse country in a weekend of music, theatre, literature, film, sport, food and more, all within a unique landscape of French mountains and Swiss lakes.
The theme of the 2012 Australia festival is Hospitality and Home.
With origins as a community festival, the mission of the organisation is to offer a space for the Australian arts, culture and voices to participate in a weekend of presentation, participation and exchange with the expatriate and French communities residing in the region, throughout the Pays De Gex France to the cosmopolitan city of Geneva Switzerland. The festival is committed to presenting a bilingual program in order to further the potential exchange.
The program for 2012 currently includes a bilingual performance from a Melbourne theatre company, art exhibitions, music, poetry workshops and performances, history lessons for kids, a family fun day with an Australian produce market, film screenings, talks from anthologists, dance performances and workshops, literary events and more.