THE TEN-day Horizon Arts Festival starts this Friday with a unique event taking place at the Coolum Civic Centre this Saturday – ‘From Rations to Wages to Treaty’ is the work of First Nations singer-songwriter, Uncle Joe Geia and his band who combine songs, video, and storytelling to introduce audiences to the lives of some of Australia’s most important and influential Indigenous leaders.
Joe Geia brings audiences an opportunity to learn, reflect, and — above all — celebrate the lives and work of Indigenous leaders and activists in a way that brings people together in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.
At a time when an Indigenous ‘Voice to Parliament’ is forefront, the voice of Joe Geia is more important than it has ever been.
Joe took the time to talk with the Advertiser in the lead-up to his Horizon Festival show this Saturday at the Coolum Civic Centre.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
“I am a singer-songwriter and visual artist. I’m a Guugu Yimidhirr/Kaurareg Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. In my wide-ranging career, I have worked with many of Australia’s best musicians, starting my career with pioneering Indigenous band ‘No Fixed Address’, and I was a founding member of the Black Arm Band, and I have also remained committed to working in communities for over 40 years.”
How would you describe your work/art to others?
“My songwriting and art takes people on a journey across Australia and incorporates often unknown stories of Aboriginal and Islander Australia.”
Describe your Horizon Festival show?
“This show is a glimpse into Queensland’s black history and the achievements of our elders and leaders whose struggle achieved so much for future generations. My history and career are inextricably linked to the events told through song in this show. I tell the stories of strong Elders and leaders who fought to ensure justice for Indigenous peoples. More can be found on my website https://joegeia.com.au/welcome/rations-to-wages-to-treaty/”
Who will love your project?
“The importance of this show is threefold: To provide Elders and community members an avenue to reminisce, to reflect on their own lives and achievements despite adversity; to educate young people and children in Indigenous history and the resilience, strength, survival and resistance of Ancestors; and to enable non-Indigenous people an enhanced understanding of historical contexts.”
Favourite Sunshine Coast location?
“As a guest performer for the Dawn Awakening last year it doesn’t get much better than Stumers Creek and Coolum Beach for me. It was such a pleasure to work with Lyndon Davis (and the Gubi Gubi Dance team) and the incredible crew from Sunshine Coast Council who are so incredibly supportive of all artists involved.”
Joe’s work has been praised and this show in particular described as “simply transformational, with Joe’s music and storytelling weaving a spellbinding tale of culture, heritage, and history.”
Accompanying Joe on the night is his talented band comprising Ruth Ross Pe’er on violin, Phill McKenna on bass, Avau Fanene on drums, Michael Sunjay Jude on keyboards and Graham Moes on lead guitar. Background visuals featuring original artwork by Joe Geia with archival footage from Nic Morley and Lyn Geia. Sound by Marcello Milani.
This is an event not to be missed and the Advertiser has a double pass to give away to this very special concert taking place this Saturday night. To win the double pass please email your name, address and phone number to email@example.com with the subject heading ‘Horizon’ by 9am this Friday August 25. A winner will be randomly chosen and notified by phone.
Tickets and more information can be found via the following link – https://www.horizonfestival.com.au