The much-loved event series Koori Gras returns in the 2020 Mardi Gras program. It’s a celebration of indigenous people coming together and expressing their identity, their queerness and their blackness.

“Our national queer community has always presented as white middle class,” founder and co-artistic director of Moogahlin Performing Arts Company, Liza-Mare Syron, told Urban Village.

“People need to be reminded that we’ve always been here. We’ve always been fighting beside everybody,” she said.

Sydney’s most prestigious blak drags and drag kings return for the performance event Blak Nulla; Koori Kick On will keep the party going after Sissy Ball; five emerging queer blak artists will read newly developed playwriting work as part of Yellamundie creative development workshop; and community members can explore their hidden drag king or queen at Blak Diva for a Day.

“Koori Gras is produced by First Peoples, for First Peoples and with First Peoples. There’s creative leadership, there’s artist leadership and it’s led by the queer black community, their stories and their expression of sexuality.”

“We know what struggle is, we’ve had 200 years of it ourselves. We might have racism but homophobia on top of that is a kind of double whammy. We’re all in this together and we need to celebrate each other and celebrate our differences.”

“Every day there’s a funeral or a critical incident that happens. Sometimes we just need some time out to remember that we need to celebrate our culture and our communities.”

Koori Gras is about visibility and celebration. Along with the rest of the program, Koori Gras will explore ‘What Matters’ and showcase the talent and innovation of our First Peoples.

Blak Diva for a Day – Saturday 15th February 11am – 4pm at Carriageworks
Yellamundie Queer Blak Play Readings – Saturday 22nd February 3pm at Seymour Centre
Blak Nulla – Saturday 22nd February 7:30pm – 11pm at Seymour Centre
Koori Kick On – Saturday 22nd February 9pm – Sunday 23rd February 3am at Seymour Centre
For more event info head to the Mardi Gras website.