Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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'Story-telling, autobiography, documentary and musical theatre are some of the ways in which Indigenous artists and theatre companies critique decades of invasion, dispossession, misrepresentation and silencing. Since the 1960s, Indigenous theatre and performance have represented diverse urban and regional perspectives on important historical and contemporary issues - especially the Stolen Generation, deaths in custody and land rights. These issues relate to the forced removal of "light-skinned‟ Aboriginal children from their families from the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, the disproportionate number of Indigenous deaths in police custody relative to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, and Indigenous claims for the recognition of prior occupation of the land and the award of Native Title. More recently, the impact of British nuclear testing at Maralinga in outback South Australia is explored in a new work, Ngapartji Ngapartji, that situates Indigenous experience within the wider context of the bombing of Hiroshima and the Cold War-led nuclear arms race of the 1950s and 1960s. Maryrose Casey and Helena Grehan have published thoughtful and challenging essays on the new political and aesthetic terrain uncovered in this performance. Ngapartji Ngapartji's linking of Maralinga and Hiroshima signifies a shift from a national to a more global perspective that is also reflected in the multi-cultural characters and cast. Critiques of the policies and practices of successive state and national governments give way in this work to a more international perspective reflecting the globalising forces of the contemporary era. The recent engagement with the global intensifies in two new Indigenous works at the 2010 Adelaide Festival: Tony Briggs' The Sapphires, a multi-cultural cast play which tells the story of an Indigenous "Motown‟ singing group that entertains the troops in Vietnam in the late 1960s, and Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], which deals with global entertainment culture including hip-hop and Bollywood. By drawing out the global influences in Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu [Wrong Skin], this article discusses the issues of modernity, digital media, globalisation and identity in contemporary Indigenous theatre that look beyond the nation to the new horizons of the global.' Denise Varney.

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Last amended 26 Sep 2012