New Parrtjima theme resonates with stunning Red Centre skies

NT Government

4 December 2021

The theme for Parrtjima 2022 has been revealed as ‘Sky Country’, with a focus on our place in the universe and the relationship First Nations people have with the environment. The free 10-night festival returns to Alice Springs, Mparntwe, from 8-17 April 2022.

First Nations people have long looked to the skies to understand their place on Country, and in the heart of Australia the behaviour of the seasons, the sky, the wind and the nature of flight all provide the knowledge needed for desert survival.

Offering a new way to look at the world, and sparking our curiosity, the Parrtjima program will tell the story of sky, air and wind through light shows, installations, art, music, talks, films, workshops and performance.

Parrtjima keeps the flame of story and authentic Aboriginal culture alive by using the newest technology to tell ancient stories, all set against the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges. The only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, Parrtjima is the place where wisdom and warmth meet in the stunning Red Centre.

Register now to be one of the first to know when the full program is released. Visit [].

Quotes from Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles:

“Sky Country is a fitting theme for an event held under the Red Centre’s incredible star-studded skies. Our skies are famous and one of the things visitors remember most when they come to Central Australia.

“For thousands of years Aboriginal Australians have looked to the skies to plan their harvest and hunting seasons, and to share stories, which are retold from generation to generation.

“Parrtjima helps share these ancient stories further, drawing in new audiences though the use of technology, and encouraging artists to evolve and develop as they explore new ideas and new ways of approaching their work.”

Quotes from AGB Events First Nations Advisor and Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO:

“To understand our connection with the universe, First Nations people have always looked two ways; everything is written twice, once in the ground and once in the sky.

“This year is a new exploration for Parrtjima. With a new gaze upwards under the majestic night skies of Central Australia, our Parrtjima thematic, Sky Country, is a discovery of the constellations, which have guided generations of Arrernte across their homelands.

“The behaviour of the seasons, the winds, and the nature of flight provide the knowledge required for desert survival. Knowing the sky is our first step – the passage of stories handed down about the vastness of the universe and who we are in it – how everything is much bigger than us and needs to be protected. We are thrilled to be able to shine a light on these stories and acknowledge Australia’s first scientists, first astronomers and first naturalists.”

Northern Territory Government

/Public Release. View in full here.