The Lantern Parade festival is held in Lismore every year in June during the winter solstice. I visited their workshop yesterday to meet with the director of the festival about getting some TAFE students involved in making lanterns for this year's parade. The workshop is an incredibly surreal and creative place with massive figures and bright colours everywhere. The workshop has to move soon to another premises and they are fundraising at the moment to help that transition.
The Lantern parade group is available to make lanterns for other events too - and will have lanterns at the Byron Bay Blues Festival this weekend.
Attending the Byron Bay "March in March" a couple of weeks ago gave me renewed faith in the people of our shire, and country, to be willing to express disillusionment and a feeling of being misrepresented on a large number of issues. Whether it is CSG exploration and mining to the treatment of asylum seekers we have a community that is concerned that we may not be doing the right thing in these cases and others. When we look back through history or to international examples, we can see occasions when similar actions have been viewed in hindsight as massive mistakes, for example: Pollution of vast areas of farmland and water in the United States due to fracking, or the case of asylum seekers from Germany prior to WWII being turned away from many countries, even though they were escaping certain extermination (described in the book and movie The Voyage of the Damned).
It is encouraging that the people who wanted to express something in March were from all parts of our community. I took the photo above and it seemed to partly sum it up for me; the guy in the Korn t-shirt quietly reflecting for a second, the child - our next generation - being held up as our concern for the future in the foreground.
I know there are arguments for both sides of any policy or decision, but most of the arguments put forward by the March in March were definitely worth reminding our governments and nation as a whole.
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