It’s been culture central this week – Writers’ Week, that began last Saturday, continued till Thursday with some great speakers and thought-provoking conversations. On Wednesday it was International Women’s Day, and a good opportunity to celebrate women in a range of ways (we do of course hold up half the sky). Then yesterday, Friday, WOMADelaide kicked off at Botanic Park once again. I have had an excellent time through it all, and have been reminded of all the unsung behind the scenes work that goes into making these things happen – the signage and parking and toilets, the rehearsals of the performers, the making and doing of the stall holders to ensure they are ready to connect with whoever comes by, the cooks at the food stalls where remarkably delicious food is produced in odd circumstances.
I did a little stint at WOMAD at the Many Voices stall. I have said it before and will say it again, that group are a force of nature. The stall took A LOT of work to get together, and it does look fabulous. I love how many people have been part of it, making prayer flags, producing postcards from Mark’s art work, getting the lucky dip happening, getting the shopping bags made, not to mention all the lovely ideas and posters and thoughts and suggestions. The beanbags for those with better knees than mine to sit in, the short films that people can watch if they want to. It really is gorgeous, and such a great thing to have their message of compassion and hopefulness about mental health out there. Here are some pictures from the Many Voices facebook page (and a couple from my camera too – why I didn’t take more I don’t know!) (click to enlarge as usual).
As well as the fun of the stall, of course there was also music – and one wonderful treat was to hear this group of children from India, called the Manganiyar Classroom – they were just terrific. There was an interview with their director earlier in the week on the radio – here is the link, and here is a little you tube clip of them singing.
IWD was a good day too. Romi and I went to a performance put on by two excellent women singers accompanied by a chap on piano. It was about gin of all things, and called Mother’s Ruin! It was fun and entertaining, and again, must have taken a lot of work and commitment to put on. Here is a clip of one of the songs…
And then at Writers’ Week there were lots of great folk to enjoy (for example I’m reading a really good book by a Mexican writer, Yuri Herrera, whom I’d never heard of before this week) – here is a picture of Romi and me between sessions.