Bush Flowers by Pammy Kemarre Foster - Grounded, Parrtjima 2023. Photograph: Che Chorley

With just four nights left to enjoy the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, both Territorians and interstate travellers are being encouraged to attend Mparntwe’s (Alice Springs) Parrtjima – A Festival in Light.

Kicking off over the long weekend, the free event has already seen thousands of people converge under the stars at the ancient MacDonnell Ranges, with the biggest Monday and Tuesday crowds in the history of the event.

As Australia approaches the vote on a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to parliament, the festival’s theme for 2023 is “Listening with Heart”.

Parrtjima’s director of engagement and culture Paul Ah Chee said the theme embodies the concept of coming together, meeting and taking the time to contemplate and reflect, and said the centrepiece of this year’s light installations was inspired by the artwork surrounding the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Listen to Paul Ah Chee’s interview here:

Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO said Parrtjima was an experience not to be missed.

“The power of song and the reclamation of language and its importance is filtered across the program as we move into a new future, and as Australians seek to know more about the oldest living culture on the planet,” she said.

“Through the continuing age-old practice of painting Country, we experience the creation and the connection represented in the art and hearts of our First Peoples.”

The last night to enjoy Parrtjima is Sunday, April 16. Registration is free and can be completed online here:

Tinkerbee Dancer performing at the Welcome to Country
Sisters at Watarru by Noreen Dixon – Grounded, Parrtjima 2023
MacDonnell Ranges Light Show, Parrtjima 2023
The Andrew Gurruwiwi Band