You Are Here, Canberra

Posted 6 Apr 2017

Story by Her Canberra

Now in its seventh year, You Are Here Festival has well and truly nestled itself into Canberra’s arts calendar.

The curated festival showcases the best of Canberra’s independent experimental art and culture scene and will once again take over the Canberra CBD from tomorrow, Wednesday 5 April through to Sunday 9 April with free events popping up across the city centre.

An incredible example of how independent arts organisations can flourish with the right support, You Are Here was originally commissioned in 2011 by Robyn Archer AO in the lead-up to the Centenary of Canberra as a way to enliven Canberra’s CBD. The festival is not only now a fixture in the Canberra community, but fast becoming one that piques the interest of the national arts calendar.

“The producers have refined and carefully curated the Festival’s program over the years as it has achieved an ever-growing interest from both local and interstate artists. In this way, You Are Here is a launching pad for many local artists who might otherwise have remained unseen and unheard,” says Gordon Ramsay MLA.

This year’s highlights include:

Electric Avenues / Friday 7 April / 6pm – 11pm

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On Friday 7 April, Haig Park will come alive with a festival extravaganza of music, visual art, poetry, food and drink stalls and dance, transforming this iconic inner-city location.

A highlight of Electric Avenues is Haigiography, by Disaffective Collective – a loose evolving collective of movers, makers and thinkers, dancers, acrobats, musicians, improvisers and citizens. As a situationist art piece, Haigiography will invite the public to join in a sensory journey drawing on the 90 year history of Haig Park as a windbreak and now underused public space, asking the question: what would it mean to re-claim this space?

Lifestyle/Microwave cooking Guru Amelia de Frost and Electro-Punk Spiritualist Babyfreeze will liven things up with Aerobocide: Feel Better. Three hours of non-stop partying with Extreme Wellness, Aerobocide Feel Better is a performance art installation you can dance along to – a tongue in cheek take on modern wellness culture set to mutant dance-pop classics by the acclaimed Dead DJ Joke.

Electric Avenues will also include Pedal Power Karaoke, live music from Low Flung, DJs curated by local female-led music collective Good Content and musical tents, along with food by local community vendors and beers by BentSpoke.

All events on the night will be free and take place at Haig Park, Lonsdale Street end (intersection of Lonsdale and Girrahween Streets).

Autonomous Wednesday / 5 April / 6.30-7pm, and 7pm – 8pm

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Set in a carpark – spaces which invade the lives of Canberrans – Autonomous will challenge the valued freedom of the car versus its impact. Issues of social disconnect, laziness, disposability and carbonisation of our environment fog up the windows.

Expect an immersive, revved up dance weaving in and around the anatomy of the car.

Presented by Australian Dance Party, Autonomous reflects on our relationships with technological invention, the urban landscape and connection, as we move, transition, turn and weave through our days in motorised car choreographies. With an interest in re-framing who and what can perform, Autonomous positions the car as the dancer.

Due to safety reasons, and the nature of the location, this performance can only be attended if you are attending in a car. In a mystery location in Yarralumla. This is a free event but bookings are required at Eventbrite.

Dance Artists: Olivia Fyfe, Alana Stenning, Jack Riley and Alison Plevey.

Stealing Stories / Thursday 6 April / 8pm – 9pm

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Stealing Stories is a collection plundered from the women of Emma Kelly’s past.

Stories from different times and places. Stories of love, stories of Canberra, stories of the everyday, the familiar and the unexpected.

Happy Axe records memories as clearly as they can exist in this moment. Come and share in the stories of her kinswomen, woven with a fog of saw, violin and spoken word.

Haunting the fringes between electro-minimalism and pastoral indie, Happy Axe uses violin, musical saw and vocals to create layers of sound that are beautiful, unsettling and cinematic.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the Australian National University, Emma has performed at major festivals across Australia, including the Woodford Folk Festival and Groovin the Moo, attended the 2015 New York City Musical Saw Festival as the guest of honour, and was nominated for best live instrumentalist in the National Live Music Awards last year, after completing a European Tour.

MILF Camp! / Wednesday 5 April / 8pm – 9pm / (18+)

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Vivian and Susan are two yummy mummies, showing the world that being a MILF is about more than babies, binkies, and brunch! Their live on stage Booty Camp is a whirlwind of fast paced wit, absurd exercises, a step by step guide to the perfect Instagram selfie, 80’s aerobic choreography, and a healthy dose of nudity.

Miriam Slater and Frances McNair are two performers and best friends from Canberra. In 2016 they wrote their first script together “MILF Camp”. After not killing each other in the writing process and realising they enjoyed combining their love of comedy with their love of each other, they decided to take the plunge and became the founding mothers of their comedy duo Sweaty Pits.

Their writing is a cocktail of serious social issues and absurd comedy. They have a variety of characters they are excited to release into the world and are aiming towards creating their own sketch comedy show.

You can see the full You Are Here 2017 program of over 50 acts here. Link should be: http://youareherecanberra.com.au/ – we’ve had some last minute changes which are reflected on the website, but not the PDF version you have sorry!

Want to take a peek at what was on offer throughout the past seven years? The YAH media team have captured a visual archive over on Flickr and Vimeo.

the essentials

What: You Are Here
When: Wednesday 5 April – Sunday 9 April
Where: Various locations across the Canberra CBD + surrounds
Cost: Most events are free and do not require registration. View full program for individual event details
Web: youareherecanberra.com.au

HerCanberra is a proud sponsor of You Are Here 2017