This Saturday June 4, Footscray’s Nicholson Street will host its annual cultural street party – Emerge in the West.

“I’m from the west,” says Fatuma Ndenzako, who runs local fashion label Collective Closets with her sister, Laurinda, “so it’s always good to see festivals that people can immerse themselves in as Footscray continues to change.”

Spoken-word artist and festival performer Soreti Kadir adds, “Emerge in the West Festival gives people the opportunity to, in some way, feel reflected by their environment. It brings people together.”

FASHION

Afro Chic Fashion Show
Collective Closets headlines the Afro Chic Fashion Show, debuting its newest collection Luanda 1975.
Street Stage, 2pm

Afro Chic Boutique coordinated by Vissolela Ndenzako
“This is my third time curating at the festival,” says beauty blogger Vissolela Ndenzako. “Every year I’m excited to see what each designer brings to the table.” Head into the Afro Chic Boutique to shop, chat with the designers and experience the prints and colours from the runway up close.
VU at Metro West, 1pm–5pm

Winter Craft Market
Visit Anna Branford at the Winter Craft Market for handmade toys, dolls, jewellery and more from the Creating a Welcome program. All proceeds from the Winter Craft Market will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
VU at Metro West, 1pm–5pm

FOOD AND CULTURE

Walking tour of Footscray
Join Berhan Jabar from the African-Australian Small Business Association and Anita Larkin, Multicultural Arts Victoria creative producer and founder of the Emerge Festivals, for a walking (and eating) tour of Footscray.
Tours start at 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Tickets are $10 and bookings can be made here.

Eat local
Visit the local eateries on Nicholson Street and taste Eritrean, Ethiopian and Turkish cuisine from restaurants such as Addis Abeba, Café Lalibela and Welwalo Café & Bar.

PERFORMANCE

Spoken word, poetry and jazz with Soreti Kadir
“The spoken-word program is a collaborative project,” says the festival’s artistic coordinator Daniel Atlaw Seifu. “The artists and musicians involved reflect the diversity of their community.” The program includes spoken-word artist Soreti Kadir.
VU at Metro West, 2.50pm

All You Can Spit Youth MC project
“The main goal of the festival is to encourage collaboration between new and experienced artists,” says Seifu. “The young MCs involved in the All You Can Spit project are coming together as one for this project and performance.”
Street Stage, 4.30pm

African Star
African Star takes the stage with Aboriginal didgeridoo musicians for a dance and drumming collaborative performance.
Main Stage, 1pm

Asanti Dance Theatre
Crowd favourite Asanti Dance Theatre is back with its high-energy dance and colourful costumes.
Main Stage, 5.15pm


Emerge in the West Festival is on Sunday June 4 from 1pm to 6pm on Nicholson Street, Footscray. See the full program here.