Saturday 12th February 6pm - 9pm, 2022

Sounds of Resistance, Footscray Community Arts Amphitheatre


A week before The Purple Shall Govern opening launch, join us for Sounds of Resistance, a precursory contemplative sonic experience as part of Who's Afraid of Public Space?


Bringing communities together to reflect on themes within the exhibition, DJ's Peter Abrahams,

Paul Gorrie and Colette spin the sounds and rhythms that reflect a soundtrack of liberation and self-determination, playing music of people from this continent to southern Africa. Meet us at the banks of the Maribyrnong among the she-oaks and the bluestones for an introspective dance.


The exhibition will also be open to explore as you immerse yourself in sound. Tickets are now available here for $10 as well as Blak tix and NOTAFLOF (No one turned away for lack of funds).



Saturday 19th February -  Sunday 27th March, 2022

The Purple Shall Govern; an exhibition by Roberta Joy Rich

Presented at Footscray Community Arts in partnership with Australia Centre for Contemporary Art

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung lands (Footscray, Melbourne).

6pm on Wednesday March 2nd and Wednesday March 16th, 2022

Screens of Resistance, Footscray Community Arts


Through intimate screenings and conversations, Screens of Resistance invites you to delve deeper into the themes within The Purple Shall Govern exhibition. Join us to explore the work of activists who have influenced our world today. All screenings are FREE. RSVP via Footscray Community Arts.


Screens of Resistance with Kimberley Moulton

Wednesday 2nd March, 6 – 9pm

Roberta Joy Rich and Kimberley Moulton invite you to reflect on the documentary Lousy Little Sixpence, a film by influential activists about the Stolen Generations. Through conversation, you will learn how the film resonates with Kimberley’s work and cultural connections.


Screens of Resistance with Scottnes Smith

Wednesday 16th March, 6 – 9pm

Roberta Joy Rich and Scottnes Smith invite you to reflect on the documentary WINNIE, a film that explores the legacy of Winnie Mandela and her involvement in the collective resistance against the Apartheid regime.

2pm on Sunday March 27th, 2022

The Purple Shall Govern: Walking Tour with Elders, Footscray Community Arts


The Purple Shall Govern is held on lands bordering the Maribrynong river banks.

What stories inhabit this place?


As the exhibition asks us to examine histories of publics, artist Roberta joins Elders Uncle Larry Walsh and N’arweet Dr. Carolyn Briggs AM as they walk and talk, guiding and exploring the rich landscape and histories of Kulin Country. The Walking Tour with Elders will close the exhibition and its program.

Roberta Joy Rich listening to Uncle Larry Walsh.

Thursday June 30th - Saturday August 6th, 2022

And she was wearing trousers: a call to our heroines, Arts House, Wurundjeri country (North Melbourne)


It has been a long time since I shared what I had been working on, during The Purple Shall Govern and following on thereafter- so I am very excited to share this project- years in the making with my

co-curator Naomi Velaphi. More updates, interviews and reviews from the exhibition coming soon!


And she was wearing trousers: a call to our heroines brings into focus some of the many women who defined, defied or described Southern African culture from the seventeenth century to today. It features a dynamic array of contributors connecting across shores, from both the African continent and the African diaspora in Australia.


This exhibition that takes place Arts House, features a series of new commissions from artists Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Jabu Nadia Newman, blk banaana, Kirsty Marillier, Rara Zulu and Tariro Mavondo which sit alongside the Australian premiere of Sethembile Msezane’s short film ISIMO. Installations, performance and conversations will unearth often-forgotten feminists, exploring ideas of identity, connection, distance and self. The learning and unearthing these artists have encountered are both exciting and affecting.


Working from archives across various publishers, oral histories, public and private, the academy and the internet, the women Brenda Fassie, Dorothy Masuka, Krotoa, Thenjiwe Lesabe, Queen Lozikeyi and figures alike have served as catalysts into an imagined world by which hope, loss, love and determination are explored. From collage to installation, video art and sound, music to typography, the forms of inquiry taken here are as diverse as the experiences of the women behind them.

Still from video 'As high as the stars so far unseen,' by artist blk banaana.

Wednesday August 3rd 2022

And she was wearing trousers: a call to our heroines, Arts House, Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne.


Our exhibition is featured on ABC Radio's The Art Show, presented by Daniel Browning.

You can listen to Naomi Velaphi and I discuss with Daniel about our exhibition here.

© Copyright Roberta Joy Rich 2024. All images by and courtesy of the artist unless otherwise credited.