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Wash My Soul in the River's Flow (ATOM Study Guide)

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Brand: ATOM
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SKU: SG1867
Year Levels: 7-12
Streaming Content: Wash My Soul in the River's Flow

Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow is a cinematic reinvention of a legendary concert, Kura Tungar – Songs From The River, which premiered in 2004 and was staged in the spirit of Reconciliation at a time when the Australian government had not yet apologised to the Stolen Generations. First Nations singer-songwriters Archie Roach and the late Ruby Hunter collaborated with celebrated composer-conductor Paul Grabowsky and the 22-piece Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) to create this astonishing work that premiered at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne. Telling onstage stories about their lives with songs about the Murray River and Ngarrindjeri Country – where Ruby spent her early childhood with her grandparents and siblings before she was stolen – the concert received a rapturous standing ovation in a full house of over 2000 people.

Kura Tungar – Songs from the River was a progressive and respectful collaboration between First Nations artists and an established non-Indigenous Australian orchestra. Seventeen years later, the filmmakers have celebrated this famous collaboration with the feature documentary Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow.

Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow explores the role of creative expression in healing and reconciliation – how story, music and art can open our hearts and minds to different ways of thinking and knowing this country and each other, our different experiences and different ways of being.

Curriculum Links:

Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow has strong links to the following learning areas within the Australian Curriculum. Please note this list is
not exhaustive:

  • Modern History (Year 11)
  • Languages
  • Media Arts
  • Geography
  • Citizenship, diversity and identity
  • Music
  • Indigenous Studies

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