Kerry Packer Civic Gallery
Until 12 Feb 2020

Review by Kylie Pedler

A fantastic evening of cultural emersion, theatre, poetry and storytelling.

On entering the civic gallery, the vibe is clear; the African street art scene is intense. A mix of contemporary and traditional, painting, collage and photography represent messages of politics, loyalty, sacrifice, freedom and ideology.

Artists from ActNow’s Theatre of the Global Majority then shared their stories and memories of childhood through short vignettes focusing on how a moment in your life can give insight to others. Heart-wrenching stories were intertwined with comical potato sack races as we learnt about native home life and transitions to Australia.

Soul-searching, thought-provoking poetry by Eva Nthupi exposed wise words to a future daughter and self and a revelation that ‘…what you are is who you choose to be’. However, her standout moment was the fabulously improvised piece taken from five words provided by the audience. Overall, Tailor Winston’s poetry performance was a journey of persistence, revealing and accepting her stage fright and finishing with a climatic metaphorical poem about a bird’s nest.

Musician and singer Jelly Brown, storyteller Chris Best, and dancer Beni Poppins gave exceptional performances. The evening’s standout was rapper DyspOra who had his audience laughing and on their feet during his mix of poetry and rap songs. Stephen Tongun brought it all together as MC. His opening story encapsulating an important connecting message of the evening; ‘I am Australian…Let’s walk together, in our similarities and differences.’

A collective of talented artists sharing their hearts and making a difference.

While “Sanaa Story Telling” was a one-night event the Sanaa (art) exhibition is open until the 13th March and well worth a look. Check out the other events that are part of the Sanaa festival including an artist talk and street party and support this not-for-profit organisation as they strive to bridge cultural gaps and create a better world through creativity and the power of art and voice.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)