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Fremantle’s Orange Sannya Period Revisited

Letting+Go+by+Poppy+van+Oorde-Grainger
Letting Go by Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

Letting Go by Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

Fremantle Arts Centre

Fremantle Arts Centre

Letting Go by Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

Elodie Bouttier, Reporter

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A fascinating exhibition focusing on the history of Fremantle’s Orange People is currently running at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

The Orange: Sannyas in Fremantle exhibition has attracted former and existing Orange People, as well as a curious public.

It explores 1980s Fremantle, when the religious movement of Sannyasin was emerging.

Poppy van Oorde-Grainger is one of the artists whose work is being displayed during of the event. Ms van Oorde-Grainger created a music video after interviewing some of the Sannyasin children. She spent one month working with several collaborators to finish her project.

“The music video is called ‘Letting Go’, and the video was inspired by quotes, lyrics, and music from people who grew up in the Fremantle Sannyasin community in the 1980s,” Ms van Oorde-Grainger told ECU Daily.

The music video shows people dancing in slow motion and the transition from self-conscious movement to dancing freely.

“Feeling awkward at first and then losing yourself on the dance floor is something most people can relate to,” said Ms van Oorde-Grainger.

“So I hope this video will give audiences a greater understanding of an aspect of the Sannyasin movement, and what people got from it and out of it.”

Orange Sannyas were a colourful and lively community devoted to Indian guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, better known as Osho.

The term “Orange People” came from the fact that the followers wore orange-coloured clothes. The community called themselves Sannyasins, a term normally related to Indian religious discipleship.

Joahnna Ferguson, one of many visitors who attended the exhibition, told ECU Daily she found the exhibition enlightening.

“I remember the community vaguely as a child, so I didn’t understand the politics at the time,” said Ms Ferguson. “But seeing it now, I find it quite entertaining.”

Although Ms Ferguson wasn’t a part of the movement, she recalls there was awareness of the Orange People.

“There were some kids who formed a band when I was in primary school, who made up a song about the Rajneesh,” said Ms Ferguson. “I remember we all used to sing about it at school.”

The exhibition also showcases pictures of the Sannyasin community and documentaries, as well as old tape recordings and newsletters from the time.

The event runs until Sunday 21 May.

For more information visit https://www.fac.org.au/whats-on/post/orange-sannyas-fremantle/

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Fremantle’s Orange Sannya Period Revisited