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February 25, 2024

The Bogong

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Danny Teece Johnson

The Byron Writers Festival has partnered with Blak & Bright curator Jane Harrison to present The Bogong, a Blak version of The Moth.

The Bogong, Hosted by Danny Teece-Johnson, is a celebration of the lived experience in crafted spoken word form. Featuring six First Nations storytellers, it’a feast for the ears. Join Evelyn Araluen, Fiona Foley, Megan Albany, Paul Callaghan, Gary Lonesborough and Mykaela Saunders for a cabaret style event. In the lead up to this show, Seven spoke to Jane Harrison to get a feel for this wonderful experience.

How would you describe this show?

The Bogong brings together storytellers from different genres who deliver crafted spoken word pieces about a lived experience. In this iteration, the theme is ‘Belonging’.

Why the name The Bogong?

The idea came from the knowledge that in the higher mountainous regions in the eastern states the bogong moth would swarm at certain times of the year, and this would draw people from surrounding areas to feast on their protein-rich flesh. So The Bogong is a get-together, a celebration and a feast – in our case, of words.

Why is it important that these stories are told?

As the oldest continuous storytellers, we have so many stories still to tell. The Bogong gives us insight into the lived experience of First Nations peoples from different walks of life.

What can audiences expect from The Bogong?

You can expect to be moved, to laugh (humour is one of our most important survival tools), and to have a brief glimpse into another person’s connection to their culture and family – and The Bogong always surprises.

During The Bogong you will hear from: 

Evelyn Araluan, who is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Born and raised on Dharug country and of Bundjalung descent, she is the author of the 2022 Stella Prize-winning Dropbear.

Fiona Foley is an artist from the Wondunna clan of the Badtjala Nation. Fiona’s book Biting the Clouds won the Queensland Premier’s Award, in the Queensland Literary Awards, for a work of State Significance.

Megan Albany is a proud Kalkadoon woman whose debut novel, The Very Last List of Vivian Walker, was shortlisted for the 2020 Banjo Prize.

Dr Paul Callaghan is an Aboriginal man belonging to the land of the Worimi people. His recently released book is The Dreaming Path.

Gary Lonesborough is a Yuin man from the far south coast of NSW. The Boy from the Mish is Gary’s debut YA novel.

Mikaelya Saunders is an award-winning Koori and Lebanese writer and the editor of This All Come Back Now, an anthology of blackfella speculative fiction.

Your host for this event is Danny Teece-Johnson, a Gamilaraay man who has been working in black media for 20 years. He is producer/presenter of (98.9FM) Triple A Murri Country’s flagship show Let’s Talk.

The Bogong, Friday 26 August 7.30pm, Brunswick Picture House. $30/$25 Members, bookings essential: trybooking.com/CAOYW.

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