FRED SMITH ‘The Dust Of Uruzgan’ Book Tour
Concert and stories from his memoir accompanied by visual projections
to be held at the Kindlehill School Performance Space.
Fri 19th May 2017
Venue: Kindlehill School Performance Space, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW 2782.
Fred Smith returned from two years working alongside Australian troops in southern Afghanistan to release the remarkable Dust of Uruzgan album. Now he has written a book revealing the back stories to the songs from the album and in so doing offers a humorous, sympathetic and comprehensive account of what was going on in this obscure little province in the middle of a difficult war.
Described as “a triumph of poetic journalism” and “finely observed snapshots of a harsh, sad and funny reality”, he weaves song and story to offer what 15 years of news reports failed to convey: an understanding of what 20,000 soldiers and a handful of our diplomats were doing over there in the dust of Uruzgan.
Fred’s songs and stories will be accompanied by projections of some stunning photos from Afghanistan.
‘I think a real strength of Fred’s music and the way he writes his songs is that he’s actually experienced a lot of what he’s writing about. He’s actually walked in the same footsteps of those soldiers he’s writing about . . . He ate, he slept, he bathed, he worked, he lived with them and when soldiers died, he mourned with them.’ – Colonel Jason Blain for Australian Story
“Fred Smith draws as convincing a picture as we will ever have of the tragedy, hope, oddness and courage of Australia’s Uruzgan enterprise… an astonishingly vibrant piece of reportage from the heart of our longest war.” – Hugh Riminton, Political Editor, Channel 10
Fred Smith has emerged as one of Australia’s most fascinating artists. He has spent the last twenty years all over the joint: working on Australian stabilisation missions in Afghanistan and the South Pacific, touring in America and travelling the Australian festival circuit. He is the subject of the film Bougainville Sky about his time in the war-torn islands of the South Pacific where his work as a musician, peace monitor and radio broadcaster contributed to the success of the world’s first unarmed peace keeping force.
Fred was the first Australian diplomat to be posted to Uruzgan in July of 2009, and the last to leave in 2013. His job was to comprehend the complex web of tribal and patronage networks that made things tick. He came to see the province through Afghan eyes, as well as those of the soldiers he worked with. He wrote a powerful collection of songs about the realities of life for soldiers and civilians, recently released on a highly acclaimed album called Dust of Uruzgan. The title track was recently covered by Lee Kernaghan on his top selling Spirit of the ANZAC’s album.
Fred has put out about eight CD’s, including collaborations with Liz Frenchman and the Spooky Men’s Chorale. Two of these won National Film and Sound Archives Awards. At the 2015 Australian Political Studies Association Annual Awards, he won the Conference Organisers Award for his unusual grassroots approach to explaining Australia’s involvement in stabilisation operations in Afghanistan and the South Pacific to the public.
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Venue: KINDLEHILL SCHOOL Performance Space
8 Lake Street, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW 2782.
The performance space has disabled access and disabled facilities.
Kindlehill Auditorium is a family friendly venue!
*Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and supervised.
Children do require a ticket for entry.
There will be light meals, sweets and refreshments available on the night from Bliss Beat Curries before the show and during intermission located at the main entrance to the performance space.
Doors Open 6:45pm. Show Starts 7:30pm.
General Admission. Theatre Style circular seating with cushions in this unique performance space.
Tickets $25 Adult / $5 Minors under 18 pre-sale available from MEGALONG BOOKS 183 The Mall, Leura, Blue Mountains NSW 2780 (During business hours 7 days a week) or KATOOMBA MUSIC 140 Katoomba St, Katoomba, NSW 2780 (Tues-Sat. Cash Only)
Or + b/f Online $26.50 Adult (Including booking fees) / $6.50 Minors under 18 (Including booking fees): www.trybooking.com/PNGH
Or on the Door from 6:45pm Friday 19th May 2017 (Unless Sold Out)
This is an intimate seating venue and tickets are strictly limited!