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Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria

Emerge Festival 2014

11 years presenting new refugee and emerging artists who have recently settled in Australia

Download Program Booklet | Media Release

From May 17 - July 5, Multicultural Arts Victoria will celebrate the 11th anniversary of Emerge Festival, showcasing talented artists from Melbourne’s emerging refugee communities and the diverse cultures that have woven colourful and intricate patterns into the identity of our unique city.

Emerge Festival will captivate Melbourne throughout the winter months of May-June with a series of performances and unique cultural experiences encompassing music, dance, visual arts, exotic foods, ancient crafts and ceremonies.

The Festival will be launched with Emerge in the West, a massive one-day cultural celebration in Footscray on May 17 and will make its way across metro Melbourne over 6 exciting weeks, featuring the signature Emerge Main Event at Fitzroy Town Hall on June 15 and an exciting showcase of Hazaragi culture at the Omagh Celebrations in Dandenong on June 22.

Footscray’s finest African dance grooves, Sudanese reggae, Ethiopian jazz, Azmari banter, Somali pop and spoken word will feature at Emerge in the West, while Emerge Main Event will offer a feast of engaging workshops, sounds from Samoa to Afghanistan and a crafty artisans marketplace.

ReMastered Myths will see cultures, sounds and rhythms collide with three new and unlikely collaborations and Omagh Celebrations will give voice to the strong, proud and beautiful Hazara culture though poetry, music and theatre.

Two unique visual arts exhibitions from award winning photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor and Eritrean painter Michael Adonai will describe different aspects of the refugee experience while artists from Melbourne's Playback Theatre will enact real life stories of resilience, courage and hope from refugee community members.

Emerge Festival Events

Saturday May 10 - Saturday June 28 Africa Day Celebrations
Sunday May 17 Emerge in the West, Nicholson St, Footscray
Friday May 23 Koné Express Non Stop Album Launch, Bella Union
Saturday May 31 Visible Biz presents Mc MoMo in conversation, South Melbourne Town Hall
Friday June 6 Alwan ft. Vinod Prasanna and Nathan
Sunday June 8 Emerge Under the Big Top, Dandenong Market
Thursday June 12 - Sunday June 22 Heartlands 2014: Barat Ali Batoor A Day in the Life of the Hazara, Footscray Community Arts Centre
Friday June 13 - Friday June 27 Michael Adonai I Did Not Choose to be a Refugee, Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre
Sunday June 15 Emerge Festival Main Event, Fitzroy Town Hall
Wednesday June 18 ReMastered Myths, Iwaki Auditorium
Thursday June 19 Restoring Hope - A creative refugee week performance, Footscray Community Arts Centre
Friday June 20 Inti Raymi: The Celebration of the Sun, HiFi Bar
Friday June 20 Taqi Khan ft. Choi & Morganics
Sunday June 22 Omagh Celebrations, Springvale Town Hall
Saturday July 5 Burundian Independence Day, South Melbourne Town Hall

Emerge Festival commemorates United Nations World Refugee Day and celebrates Refugee Week in Victoria.

Refugees are survivors who have been forced to leave their whole lives behind due to persecution. They have survived because they have had courage, ingenuity and creativity.

The only festival of its kind, Emerge unearths the incredible talents these people have brought to Australia and provides an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to share and celebrate rich and undiscovered cultures all the way from Africa to the Far East, from the traditional to the contemporary.

From May 17 to July 5 Emerge Festival will be a chance for people from all cultures to make music together, sing, dance, learn about each other, showcase and be proud of their culture, hear each other’s stories and make long-lasting connections and friendships.

Media Queries

Jess Fairfax, Project Officer Multicultural Arts Victoria, Email projects@multiculturalarts.com.au or Telephone (03) 9188 3681.


Emerge Main Event 2013, photo Blacknote Photography


MC MoMo, photo Michelle Grace Hunder Photography


Bassidi Kone, photo Anne Harkin