By News.au reporter Ben Flemming and arts journalist Ben Hutton.
Read moreThis year marks the 20th anniversary of the Australian Folk Art Network (AFAN) which is the world’s largest organisation of independent artists, featuring more than 1,200 artists.
The annual event is held in Adelaide and attracts more than 100,000 people to the city each year.AFAN’s executive director and founder, Dr Fiona Withers, said it was a great time to celebrate music.
“This year, we’re celebrating music that has a cultural resonance and that is so important to us.
We’re very excited to be able to celebrate our music in the same way that our children can,” Dr Witheres said.”
The music we’re making is being used in the world around us and in the media, and I think that’s why so many artists are so excited.”
Dr Witherus said that artists could get away with things they would never get away from, and that it was important to keep the conversation going.
“There’s something really exciting about what we’re doing, and so we’re going to keep talking about it and we’re not going to stop because people might not be interested,” she said.
The festival was founded by Dr Wethers in 2004, and was initially only a small part of her career.
“I’m the founder of the festival, so I think it’s a good thing,” she explained.
“It’s like a museum that has been in my life for a long time.”
In my late 30s, I was in my early 40s and I’m just doing this festival to celebrate this art, and the music that I love.
“The theme this year is ‘Hootenanny’, an expression of the way Aboriginal people are often depicted in Aboriginal art.
Dr Wetherss said she had always felt that it wasn’t appropriate to portray Aboriginal people in a stereotypical way.”
People in Australia don’t like to look at Aboriginal people because they’re not like us,” she continued.”
We are not the people who are supposed to be portrayed as this.
“When you look at someone who is a bit different from you, then you have to be a bit more open-minded and not look at that.”
Hootens are the most appropriate way of looking at Aboriginal Australians, because they are very, very diverse.
“Dr Flemmer said he felt that there was an opportunity for artists and other arts-loving people to engage with each other and celebrate their art in a way that was culturally relevant.”
A lot of times, when you look in the news, you don’t see a lot of arts-related activity, or art, but it is very much a part of our everyday lives,” he said.”[The AFAN] has done a great job of being able to put the spotlight on Australian art and culture, and not just Australia but the whole world.
“Dr Hutton said that it felt very much like a celebration of the world.”
Folk music is the language of Australia,” he explained.”[It’s] not about race or anything like that.
It’s about love and art and life and joy and all that sort of stuff.
“So I think you can just see why so much of Australia is celebrating that.”