Sydney Opera House UnWrapped Series Presents “SILENCE” by Karul Projects

Sydney Opera House UnWrapped Series Presents "SILENCE" by Karul Projects

The Sydney Opera House’s UnWrapped series is set to feature “SILENCE,” a powerful new Australian work by the pioneering Indigenous dance company Karul Projects. Premiering from May 8-11, this production offers a profound exploration of contemporary culture, delving into the fractures within modern Australian society. Sydney Opera House UnWrapped Series Presents “SILENCE” by Karul Projects

Originally premiered at the Brisbane Festival in 2020, “SILENCE” now returns following an extensive national tour, under the guidance of proud Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri, and Ni-Vanuatu man, Thomas E.S. Kelly, who serves as director, choreographer, writer, and performer.

The production aims to delve into Australia’s ongoing discussions concerning sovereignty and the repercussions of inaction. Kelly stressed the importance of the ongoing conversation around Treaty, viewing it as a vital step toward fostering understanding and agreement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“Treaty is an ongoing conversation that started way before me, and because we still do not have one, it’s our responsibility to keep the conversation going,” he told National Indigenous Times. “It’s the step moving forward for me, the agreement, the understanding of how the First Nations and non-First Nations Australians hold space together.”

“SILENCE” boldly challenges Australia’s failure to formally acknowledge its Indigenous peoples through a Treaty. This multi-disciplinary piece seamlessly blends elements of contemporary and cultural dance, punctuated by moments of comedy, theatre, and music, creating a compelling and thought-provoking experience.

Kelly expressed a desire for the Treaty conversation to progress despite fears and misunderstandings. He believes Treaty could benefit all by grounding Australia’s identity in respect for First Nations history.

The production serves as a platform for audiences to envision the potential of Treaty, acknowledging past injustices while celebrating the unity of Indigenous and Colonial cultures. Kelly highlighted the absence of a Treaty as a barrier to coexistence, perpetuating racism in Australia.

“Treaty is the conversation I want moving forward, but people fear the Blak agenda,” he said. “People fear Treaty and what it could mean, not even understanding what benefits it could bring for everyone, to create an identity for Australia that is grounded in and respects the First Nations history of the land we call home.”

Kelly notes the meaningful responses from audiences to “SILENCE,” particularly the embrace from Elders and the sense of pride and understanding it evoked. He emphasized the importance of keeping the conversation about Treaty alive, aiming to increase awareness and promote dialogue, both within Indigenous communities and among broader audiences.

“Any show that has had Aunties and Uncles hug me post-show, having them be proud of me, Elders who aren’t my mob, hold me with tears saying they saw beauty and strength, that they felt seen and that they want everyone to see the story, to listen, be present and be loud when we need too,” he said. “Knowing that people, both First Nations and not, leave understanding a little bit more about what a Treaty could do, that’s the aim. I’m not solving the big issue, I’m just keeping the conversation on the table, to not let it go silent.”

For more information and tickets, visit the Sydney Opera House website.

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home. We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news. If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us! Visit our page:

Tony Clemenger

Chief Executive Officer

0419 431 649

Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141


Write a comment