by Pip Miller
CIAF-2019. Image: Blueclick-Photography
CIAF focusses on First Peoples' perspective of Climate Change as 2020 theme
Following last year’s watershed, 10th anniversary celebration, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) will return in July 2020 with a contemporary, First Peoples’ focus that looks to the environment and its preservation.
The 11th annual iteration of CIAF will be held over five days from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 July 2020 delivering visitors and community with a multi-dimensional program of mainly free and ticketed events spanning art exhibitions and markets, music, dance, fashion, food, crafts, theatre, workshops and more.
The event is staged from the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal precinct on the waterfront overlooking Trinity Inlet as well as key arts and cultural hubs throughout the city that include Cairns Art Gallery, newly revitalised Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns Performing Arts Centre, UMI Arts and Tanks Arts Centre.
CIAF’s Artistic Director Janina Harding said this year’s art fair theme, Climate Change, is poignant from a regional perspective and signifies the valuable role art has in making social change and challenging the political dichotomy.
“There are a multitude of changes to the environment that we have witnessed on our homelands in Queensland and the Torres Strait that we know are related to climate change.
“With global warming being a very real issue to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples we are predicting a strong collective response from artists that will be insightful as our land and waters are key to our very existence,” Ms Harding said.
From a tourism perspective, CIAF has always been a powerful drawcard for visitors to Cairns from around Australia and overseas - a showcase of two very significant and distinct First Peoples’ cultures that would otherwise be difficult to experience due to the vast distances involved in travelling to each and every community.
According to Ms Harding, Cairns is perfectly positioned to host a celebration of the state’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - two very distinct cultures whose art practice is as rich as it is diverse spanning cultural dance, music, fashion, food, art, craft and theatre.
“Each year, visitors to CIAF are presented with a range of wonderfully new and immersive opportunities to engage with community while being educated and entertained from a mostly free and inclusive program.
“In just 10 years CIAF has evolved into so much more than an event or a place where you can acquire ethically sourced and marketed artwork into a ‘movement’, a meeting place and in essence, a holistic expression of two cultures – past, present and future,” Ms Harding said.
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