In a complete takeover of Powerhouse Ultimo, We Are Warriors, R/GA, and Powerhouse will produce an evening of live music, dance, performance, art, food, discussion and more. A night for all ages–mob, allies and advocates, for the second year in a row, turning a day of sorrow into a night of power and positivity.
Blak Powerhouse will present work from artists Shal, Michael Cook, and Tjukurpamaru and a screening of the 2022 documentary Through the Fire, which follows the work of We Are Warriors since it launched in 2022. It will also include performances from celebrated First Nations artists Maanyung, Mi-kaisha, RONA., Miss Kaninna, Becca Hatch, 3%, JK-47 and surprise special guests, along with a panel discussion on Blak Power and Excellence.
This year’s event will feature a social activation, expanding the event’s reach beyond the borders of Powerhouse to a national and international level. It allows individuals to send heartfelt messages to their loved ones through a QR code.
In 2023, with more than 3,000 people walking through the doors of the Powerhouse, WAW transformed a day of sorrow into one of celebration – of the survival of Indigenous peoples in Australia, of pride and positivity in the present, of the possibilities of the future. Blak Powerhouse became one of the largest nighttime attendances in Powerhouse history and will now be held by the Powerhouse annually.
Over a 3.5-year partnership, proud Yuin artist, producer and radio host Nooky has partnered with creative innovation studio R/GA to design a first-of-its-kind business model and brand with We Are Warriors, which launched on January 26, 2022. Nooky and R/GA have shared a collective goal to operate a platform that celebrates Blak excellence and empowers the next generation to achieve their greatness, and see themselves as warriors.
Acknowledging that you can’t be what you can’t see and informed by Nooky’s own upbringing as a self-proclaimed warrior, We Are Warriors is an all-encompassing cultural movement and platform dedicated to inspiring, equipping and empowering Indigenous youth to succeed by connecting them with First Nations role models.
“Last year we put on Blak Powerhouse and the sense of blak joy we created was so overwhelming for me, and I know all the mob who attended felt the same. There was so much power and resilience in the day for me it changed how I felt about January 26. If we can capture that same feeling this time around, in my eyes it’s a win,” said We Are Warriors founder Nooky.
“Australia is so clearly still a very divided country. So, on a day that’s so polarising, we wanted to take control of the narrative, put a spotlight on Blak excellence and tell Indigenous communities they are loved, they are seen. They are heard. That they are warriors. There’s a long way to go, and Blak Powerhouse is a bold move and an invitation for First Nation Peoples, Allies and advocates to come together and be part of a Blak Future,” said Ben Miles, VP, executive creative director, brand design & consulting APAC at R/GA.
“Blak Powerhouse is a formidable reclamation, a showcase of some of our finest talent. Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander people aren’t defined by a date or a vote, and the scale of this amazing event makes it clear– since the first sunrise and until the last sunset, we are always here. Powerhouse is very honoured to be partnering for a second year with We Are Warriors,” said Powerhouse associate director First Nations Beau James.
“The Powerhouse Museum is proud of our partnership with We Are Warriors and to be supporting the very best in First Nations contemporary cultural practice. Blak Powerhouse has already in its second year become an epically important event on Sydney’s cultural calendar,” said powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah.
This year at 5pm on January 26, a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony will take place on the Powerhouse Ultimo forecourt, followed by a Muggera dance performance.
Blak Powerhouse will also be streamed live on NITV.
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