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First Nations Curators

Explore events curated by Professor Marcia Langton and Jingili Mudburra editor Bridget Caldwell-Bright for this year's festival.

‘We have invited writers to tell us their deepest thoughts about the predicament of being simultaneously Indigenous people and global citizens in our Brave New World, being an Indigenous person in the midst of so many challenges to our existence and our right to be Indigenous, to be writers and thinkers, the truthtelling that is demanded of us and the insights that Indigenous history, cultures, languages and ways of thinking and being offer to the world.’ — Professor Marcia Langton

This year’s festival is enriched by self-determined programming from two leading First Nations Curators—renowned academic and public intellectual Marcia Langton, who has authored many books, essays and articles including her forthcoming, updated edition of Welcome to Country, along with Jingili Mudburra editor Bridget Caldwell-Bright, who was co-editor for Archer Magazine’s The First Nations Edition and managing editor for Blak Brow. They curate and host conversations with an array of writers, poets and thinkers, carrying forward a millennia long tradition of storytelling and challenging our founding colonial myths.


The New Wave of First Nations Fiction

4 Sep, 12–1pm | State Library Victoria, Conversation Quarter
$25/$20

Melissa Lucashenko, Nardi Simpson and Karen Wyld talk about the power of First Nations fiction to illuminate history, culture and ways of thinking in conversation with Marcia Langton.

Supported by ARA

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Uncomfortable Truths from Unceded Land

4 Sep, 6–7pm | Athenaeum Theatre
$35/$30

Non-fiction writers Stan Grant, Thomas Mayor and Henry Reynolds discuss the First Nations histories, politics and ideas that inform their work, on stage with Marcia Langton.

Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

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Lines of Inquiry: Indigenous Poetry

4 Sep, 12–1pm | State Library Victoria, Village Roadshow Theatrette
Free, no bookings required

Marcia Langton speaks with Indigenous poets Charmaine Papertalk Green, Yvette Holt and Ellen van Neerven about how their work is bringing fresh perspective to our past, present and future.

Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and First Nations Australia Writers’ Network

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First Nations Poets: Tell Us How It Ends

11 Sep, 10–11am | State Library Victoria, Conversation Quarter
Free, no bookings required

An incredible line-up of First Nations poets perform works speaking to this year’s Festival theme, Tell Me How It Ends, in an event hosted by Bridget Caldwell-Bright. Featuring Evelyn Araluen, Maya Hodge and Jazz Money.

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Flock: First Nations Stories

11 Sep, 6–7pm | The Wheeler Centre, Performance Space
$25/$20

Flock is a brilliant new anthology showcasing some of the finest short stories by First Nations writers from the last 25 years. Bryan Andy is joined by contributors Tony Birch, Mykaela Saunders and Adam Thompson.

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The Art of Blak Critique

4 Sep, 12–1pm | State Library Victoria, Conversation Quarter
$25/$20

A panel of First Nations critics, reviewers and essayists discuss the importance of Blak critique and peer review. Featuring Bridget Caldwell-Bright in conversation with Declan Fry, Tristen Harwood and Alison Whittaker.

Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

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Community tickets for First Peoples

Please let us know if you would like to attend MWF by emailing boxoffice@mwf.com.au


Professor Marcia Langton AO is one of Australia’s most important voices for Indigenous Australia. As an anthropologist and geographer, she has made a significant contribution to government and non-government policy as well as to Indigenous studies, native title and resource management, art and culture, and women’s rights. Professor Langton has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne since February 2000. In 2016, she was honoured as a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, and was then appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne in 2017. She has received many other accolades, including the Officer of the Order of Australia award in 2020. The first edition of Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country was published in 2018 and has sold in excess of 40,000 copies since its release.

Bridget Caldwell-Bright is a Jingili and Mudburra editor based in Melbourne. She is currently working as an editorial policies advisor at the ABC as well as co-editor for weekly news digest SUBTEXT(E). She has worked on projects with Penguin, Scribe, Allen & Unwin, Hardie Grant, Mascara Literary Review and The Lifted Brow. She was also previously co-editor for Archer Magazine’s First Nations Edition and managing editor for Blak Brow, a Black women’s collective edition of The Lifted Brow.