Muqam Rak – musicians, singers and dancers from a Turkic ethnic group now living in Australia – are sharing their culture and language through a UNESCO protected Uyghur song cycle.
‘The importance for this group is that it brings their culture to people who haven't seen it before,' said Richard Petkovic, Muqam Rak Music Director, from the Cultural Arts Collective.
‘They have these ancient traditions in their hands, in their instruments and in their voices, and it's great for the rest of Australia to see them showcasing this treasure.'
‘It's about maintaining their culture through language, via these song cycles that are 1,000 years old It's oral history of a culture that's been alive for so many years and they are passionate about sharing it.'
Language and cultural revival are key elements of the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples – which was drafted by Indigenous peoples, for Indigenous peoples and acknowledges their rights.
The International Year of Indigenous Languages is also providing a platform for Muqam Rak to perform their music, language and dance at festivals and events across the country. They recently performed at the Denmark Festival of Voice.