CURATED BY Grace Dlabik 
CO-PRESENTED BY BE. Collective Culture and i-D with special thanks to Sugar Mountain

IMAGES Georgia Haynes and Atong Atem

Margaret Lawrence Gallery was transformed and ignited with explosions of colour, during the fully immersive experience that was FUTURE CULTURE at Sugar Mountain. The space payed tribute to the vibrance and beauty of culture, exploring open-mindedness, self-expression and individuality through art, performance, photography, and music.

FUTURE CULTURE evoked a new world order that exalts women of colour from the diaspora to new heights, and paves the way for sisterhood. It’s premise centred around six creative pillars thought of as the necessary tools for shifting the paradigm; culture, expression, imagination, curiosity, autonomy, and feminism.

"Future Culture offered me familial warmth in an experimental and inspiring creative hub that welcomed and facilitated community connection”— Noor Sleiman

future culture portraitfuture culture nature

Four activations, named Amplify. Evoke. Experience. and Express. were lead by some of Australia’s most expressive creative femmes and prominent young leaders, in an exchange of culture through art. Including the guiding presence of Aboriginal women from the Djirri Djirri Dance Group, who inaugurated the activation with an acknowledgement of country.Amplify. participants, Atong Atem, Miss Blanks, Nayuka Gorrie and Grace Lillian Lee, discussed reclaiming culture during a panel discussion, moderated by Melbourne Museum Curator Kimberley Moulton. The space was decorated with photographic works and floor-to-ceiling projections showing prints and illustrations by Anu Kumar, Nynno Bel-air, Hannah Bronte and Jo Kalute. DJ sets from Soju Gang, Mz Rizk and DJ Dee Luscious completed the sensory experience, getting the room moving before the true highlight of the event, The Don’t Touch My Hair performance.

Our models—whose hair was shaped into crowns by Tiyami Tosha—wore white as they took over the space. Thando and Mulan Ring played while the colorful projections lit up the dancing model’s clothes, making for an incredible close to a powerful event.

future culture hair

FUTURE CULTURE was a moving and inspiring event for many, that will remain at the forefront of memories from the Australian festival scene for years to come.