RISING Festival 2024 | Pullman Melbourne City Centre
Yarra Trams First Nations Tram Art Installations

RISING Festival 2024

RISING Festival, an annual celebration of Melbourne’s diverse and vibrant creative scene, returns to the heart of Naarm/Melbourne from the 1st of June until the 16th, 2024. This eagerly anticipated event encompasses a myriad of events across music, food, art, and culture, providing a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents and ideas.

At the core of RISING is a commitment to fostering dialogue, awareness, and appreciation for First Nations people rights and cultures. This year’s program features a remarkable array of art installations and performances that embody this ethos.

One of the standout installations is "EMBASSY" by artist and activist Richard Bell. Inspired by the historic Aboriginal Embassy established in 1972 as a symbol of resistance and demand for land rights, Bell’s work invites viewers into a canvas tent adorned with painted protest signs. It serves as a space for rigorous discussion and political discourse, honouring the legacy of the original embassy while advocating for continued activism and awareness.

Another powerful piece by Bell, "PAY THE RENT," confronts the ongoing debt owed to First Nations people by the Australian government for land usage since Federation in 1901. Displaying a running total of this staggering sum, the installation serves as a poignant reminder of the unresolved injustices and the urgent need for restitution.

In "GURR ERA OP," four mainland-born Torres Strait Islander women use dance, song, and storytelling to address the devastating impacts of climate change on their culture and homeland. Led by multidimensional storyteller Ghenoa Gela, this performance is both a celebration of Torres Strait Islander culture and a call to action for environmental justice.

"The Rivers Sing," a large-scale audio artwork by Yorta Yorta/Yuin composer Deborah Cheetham, invites listeners to experience the harmonious composition of Boonwurrang, Woiwurrung, and English vocals as they mingle with the sounds of Melbourne’s rivers. Recomposed for RISING 2024, this immersive experience offers a moment of reflection and connection with the land.

Adding to the city's vibrancy are the First Peoples Melbourne Art Trams, adorned with works from trailblazing First Nations artists such as Destiny Deacon and Ellen José. These moving galleries celebrate the breadth and dynamism of First Peoples expression, enriching Melbourne’s cultural landscape.

At its heart, RISING Festival is a celebration of cultures and a platform for dialogue, education, and collaboration. By amplifying the voices of emerging artists and spotlighting issues of social justice and environmental consciousness, RISING continues to inspire and unite communities in Melbourne and beyond.

As the festival unfolds, let us embrace the opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives, celebrate creativity, and work towards a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.

Yarra Trams First Nations Tram Art Installations
Richard Bell First Nations Artist and Activist
Aboriginal Embassy Richard Bell Art Installation