WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT FIRE
Last summer’s devastating fires took 31 lives, burnt 17 million hectares of land, killed an estimated 3 billion animals and insects, destroyed more than 3000 homes, and thick smoke contributed to more than 400 additional deaths. 1 The fall out pollution meant much of NSW spent summer 19/20 locked inside. And then COVID-19 hit, creating the perfect fire storm.
The films explore the ongoing impact the fires have had on individuals, community, and land. Filmed largely at Bundanon, speakers share Indigenous knowledge systems, stories of community action, healing initiatives and creative responses to find a way forward.
Bundanon CEO Deborah Ely says, “In the middle of the stressful, and unpredictable, crisis presented by the 2019/20 summer fires, we realised that this experience was shared by our entire community. We understood that the impact would be long and hard and that Bundanon was uniquely placed to bring people together, to assist in the recovery and to build resilience. We Need To Talk About Fire was the outcome of multiple conversations with our neighbours, those who assisted us during the fires and those with whom we work – artists, elders, community representatives and those who share our love for the landscape, it’s wildlife and it’s cultural significance.”
Community leaders and experts include Vanessa Cavanagh (Associate Lecturer, UOW, PhD Candidate – Cultural Burning and Aboriginal Women in NSW), Professor Jason Staples (expert in dynamic bushfire behaviour), Dr. Owen Price (Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong), and Adrian Webster and Jacob Morris (Ngundahmurra, local cultural burn, and Firesticks’ practitioners).
The We Need To Talk About Fire season also includes poems, artist interviews, and three exhibitions – by Ruth Maddison, Wendy Murray and r e a, shared both online at www.bundanon.com.au and on view in the Bundanon Homestead until February 2021.
The films will be released online 3rd of December 2020.