Munaintyanangku, tunturri. (Always was, always will be)

Illuminate Adelaiderlu Kaurna Miyurna yaitya mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku tampinthi (Illuminate Adelaide acknowledges the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains)

Yaintya yartangka ngadlu tikanthi, kuma tirkanthi, kuma warpulayinthi. (These are the lands we live, learn and work on)

Ngadlurlu Purkarna pukinangku, yalarra, kuma tarrkarritya tampinthi. (We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging)

Translation provided, with thanks, by Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi

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Visual ArtLight


Atong Atem

16 July to 1 August

Back to Events

Fri 16 July - Sun 01 August

Nightly 6pm - 11pm


Art Gallery of South Australia façade, North Terrace


Wheelchair accessible


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Melbourne-based visual artist Atong Atem dives into the often-unrecognised histories of African migration in Australia in a stunning meditation on identity, colonisation and White Australia.

In a series of vivid moving portraits and tableaus, Banksia centres Black faces and identities amidst the familiar imagery of colony and native botany. Set to a score by composer Petra Salsjö, Atem poses deep, complex questions about how migration, identity and assimilation intersect on this southern continent — today as in the past.

Presented as part of City Lights, located in the North Precinct

In the Media

"Australia has never been secure or comfortable for me: Atong Atem" in the Sydney Morning Herald

Commissioning Donor

Program Partner

Commissioned by Illuminate Adelaide and RISING in partnership with the Neilson Foundation

About City Lights

To help you navigate our free program, we've created City Lights: a night-time trail of light featuring over 40 free installations, projections and immersive experiences. City Lights encompasses three individual precincts within the Adelaide CBD: NorthWest and East. Choose one, two or all three precincts to explore.