Everyone knows the importance of Elders in indigenous cultures - but related to this is the huge emphasis placed on young people, and the passing on of culture to future generations. ORIGINS 2017 has a whole string of stories to tell about young people growing to maturity in First Nations cultures, and what they learn along the way. THREE WISE COUSINS is a coming of age comedy, about a young Samoan man living in New Zealand, who hears his potential love interest say that she wants a "Real Island Guy". Cue the cultural education trip to Samoa...
Other films that treat the same sort of process in less comic way are SPEAR, which follows a young man's attempts to reconcile Aboriginal traditions with a contemporary urban world; and the extraordinary JOHOGOI AIYY (Johogoi God) from the Yakut people of Sakha in the Russian Arctic. In this remarkable film, like no other, a young man travels to the annual midsummer festival — the Tuymada Ysekh - and we travel with him, learning as he learns about his culture, his spirituality and his destiny.
Youth is also central to our theatre programme, with Cliff Cardinal's HUFF casting an unflinching eye on some of the more horrific aspects of young lives on Native Reservations, where solvent abuse if rife and where the suicide rate is five times that in the rest of Canada. Oddly enough, it manages to be very funny in the process. There's light relief to follow with Joshua Warrior's Aboriginal stand-up ABORIGINAL GIGOLO, or hip-hop with the fabulous MAU POWER at the ORIGINS CONCERT.
Younger youth also have lots to look forward to - not least because of our Education programme, which will be taking over two primary schools through the festival, immersing over a thousand children in indigenous culture. Some of them will be performing at PASIFIKA in Kensington, and that's going to be a great Family Day out on every level, with song and dance from a whole range of Pacific cultures, Maori martial arts, and Hawaiian food from our fabulous partners Island Poké.
Man of the Andes
On Sunday 25 June, there are two shows at Rich Mix aimed especially at young audiences. MAN OF THE ANDES is José Navarro's puppet extravaganza, introducing children to Andean animals, Quechua music and the Scissor Dance, all without any language to get in the way! BABA THE BAD BABOON is Sani Muliaumaseali'i’s new family musical, drawn from Samoan mythology, and taking in a few thoughts on climate change.