About Parrtjima

Parrtjima is a free 10-night festival

It's different every year. You're invited to join us in its fourth year. Come for one or more nights from Friday April 5 to Sunday 14, 2019.

Parrtjima is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind. The annual festival takes over Alice Springs with ten nights of light installations from a number aboriginal artists set against the majestic MacDonnell Ranges.

Alongside the artworks you can enjoy a program packed full of live talks, events and music by local and national musicians.

Come for the festival fun, but stay for the rich history, incredible sightseeing and an authentic, memorable experience.

Parrtjima is held on Mparntwe, which always was and always will be part of the Arrernte people. Mparntwe is connected to the estates of Antulye and Irlpme, as well as a network of custodians who hold rights and responsibilities for these areas. A group of these choose to guide and advise Parrtjima, and want you to feel welcome as they host this event.

Parrtjima has evolved to become much more than a spectacular light show on a loved and ancient canvas. It also aims to show that 'Indigenous Art' comes from more than one people group.

As well as Arrernte art, the festival features amazing artwork from across the Central Desert region and associated other parts of the Northern Territory. At the festival, the inherent power of these artworks is illuminated through large-scale installations of light, sound and art. And you are allowed access to interaction with artists and local custodians throughout ten 10 nights of music, film and public discussion.

The festival is curated by the world-renowned Rhoda Roberts AO.

The meaning of 'Parrtjima'
(Pronounced ‘par-chee-ma’)

Local, senior Arrernte people discussed this name and chose its spelling.

The name comes from the Arrernte group of languages. This group of languages has many dialects and ways of spelling words.

In Central and Eastern Arrernte, apateme means ‘to have trouble understanding something’ and pwarrtyeme means ‘to shine’.

The group chose ‘Parrtjima’ suggesting that it means shedding both light and understanding on a subject.

Finding it tricky to say? Don't worry - come along and we'll teach you.

Parrtjima, a festival in Light, Alice Springs, Australia 2017. September 21, 2017. James Horan Photography for Tourism NT