This project investigates the role of cultural festivals in supporting community wellbeing in selected Indigenous communities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
Australian Research Council and Telstra Foundation
The project argues that despite the very different penetration and impacts of globalisation in these places, these festivals can be understood through a common framework which understands cultural expression as a domain which both deploys and exceeds rights based discourses as an assertion of Indigenous presence. It argues that festivals are a particularly effective forum for communities to assert and re-frame this presence, engage and educate other communities, institutions and levels of government on Indigenous terms, garner resources and strengthen the transmission of cultural knowledge across generations; all with varied wellbeing outcomes.
The research is grounded in fieldwork-based case studies of each festival. It examines the role festivals play in strengthening and promoting Indigenous cultural identity and belonging and how this contributes to wellbeing. It details the initiatives that grow from festivals and analyzes the extent to which they enrich social connection and community capacity.