Digi Youth Arts have collaborated with Jungle Love Festival since 2015. Although our work at this festival is the beginning of a long journey, we were delighted to be acknowledged for our work in this space as finalists in the Partnership Category at the Queensland Reconciliation Awards in 2018. The Indigenous Engagement and Programming initiative co-produced by Digi Youth Arts and Jungle Love Festival gave an audience of 2957 access to conversations with Indigenous youth that enabled a greater understanding of the true history of this country. By centring Indigenous-led content in the festival, the demographic (young people) who will be making the next steps towards reconciliation will be able to do so from an informed position.
“The DYA and JLF Indigenous Engagement and Programming initiative showcased our views, fights and perspective on topics in front of an open-minded crowd of predominantly non-Indigenous people. As the festival went on it was clear to myself and other members of DYA that we were not alone in what we were there for. The festival-goers were always there to show support to us, help us and even ask us questions that they may have not been comfortable to ask before. The countless hours of conversations that we had with the festival-goers were both interesting and eye-opening to how much they supported our point of view on some intense topics. It was amazing to see the support on the Treaty wall where over 1000 people wrote words of support for the Treaty movement. The Young, Black and Talkin panel discussion was a highlight for myself as the crowd of people that came to watch us discussed anything from Australia Day to memes to cultural appropriation/appreciation. They were all genuinely interested in every topic and what we had to say; even to the point where once we ran out of time we would speak to audience members for another hour off stage because they had more questions and wanted to discuss what we said on stage in more detail. Overall the programming created a better relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people because the programming gave non-indigenous people a place to ask their questions, discuss topics and show support for movements that they hadn’t been able to do anywhere else.” Declan Beetson, DYA Youth Artist + Board Member.
DYA continue our relationship with Jungle Love Festival with plans for creative response at the event in 2018 and 2019.