• The ‘state-of-the-art surround sound space’ which hosts Blak Box is illuminated at night. (Sydney Festival)Source: Sydney Festival
A theatre project encourages audiences to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be Aboriginal.
Ryan Liddle

19 Jan 2019 - 8:17 AM  UPDATED 19 Jan 2019 - 8:17 AM

The ancient art of Indigenous storytelling has been showcased in a contemporary way as part of the Sydney Festival’s Indigenous program Blak Out.

One of the attractions, – a sound installation called, Blak Box – Four Winds – immerses the audience in the stories of First Nations people.

Conversations recorded between Elders and the younger generation are brought to life at Blacktown Showground inside what curator Daniel Browning describes as a ‘state-of-the-art surround sound space’.

“I think of it as an immersive experience, and that word gets overused but this truly is,” he told NITV.

“You come in here and you are enclosed, you are contained in a space.”

“The idea for the box is that it’s the perfect place and the perfect space for a conversation.”

Inside the mood-lit room the audience is immersed in a dialogue between Uncle Wes Marne, a 96-year-old Bigambul Elder; Aunty Edna Watson, a Darug Elder; and two Indigenous teenagers Shaun Milwood and Savarna Russell.

“Our history has been kept under wraps for many, many years and now that we’re allowed to talk about, it’s great,” Uncle Wes said.

Uncle Wes said the project puts the spotlight on the “oldest stories” on earth.

“People are going to learn who we are and what this country owes us,” he said.

“We kept this country moving for all those thousands of years, we’ve done everything for this country. We look after the country the country looks after you.

Ms Russell said that being part of the project was an unforgettable experience.

“We live in such a suburban place, everything here is pretty contemporary and modern, so a lot of Indigenous youth don’t get to witness culture first hand,” she said.

“So to have these amazing people like Uncle Wes and Auntie Edna to actually give us this knowledge and teach us this Culture from them, themselves – it’s amazing.”

'All the work I do is so my sons can have a roof over their heads'
The Weekend, the debut play by contemporary dancer Henrietta Baird examines female resilience and the choices women make when they’re betrayed by the ones they love.