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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 'Namatjira' : Beyond the Script - Visual and Performative Aesthetics as Conduits for the Communication of Western Aranda Ontology
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'This article explores the performative configuration and staging of a Western Aranda ‘place to stand’ in the inter-culturally produced biographical play Namatjira (2010–13; written by Scott Rankin with and for the Namatjira Family). The author leverages her comprehensive insight into the play’s devising and production processes, garnered from extended co-locations and touring with the producing company Big hART. She explores how both verbal and visual expression combine in the play to articulate a culturally coded Western Aranda worldview, ontology (theory of being-in-the-world) and identity. The critical elucidation of the postmodern frameworks that dominate the written script is juxtaposed with an analysis of the visual aesthetics of the play, which convey a distinctly Western Aranda perspective on Country, place-making and holding. The performative influence of these aesthetics is then illustrated in a comparison of three different stagings of Namatjira: a ‘default’ metropolitan staging; a full-scale open-air production for community on Country in the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct in 2012; and a staged play-reading at Parramatta Riverside Theatres in 2018 that aptly confirmed the significant bearing of visuality on the overall assertion of an Indigenous ‘place to stand’ in Namatjira.'  (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australasian Drama Studies no. 73 October 2018 15506967 2018 periodical issue

    'The opening image of this Special Issue of the Australasian Drama Studies journal comes from The Vultures, a contemporary Indigenous satire written and directed by Tawata Productions’ Mīria George (Te Arawa; Ngati Awa; Rarotonga and Atiu, Cook Islands), and staged at Wellington’s BATS theatre as part of the Kia Mau Festival in 2017. The Vultures plays around with the politics of place; of native ecologies versus the National Economy; of the negotiation of Indigenous identities between town and country; of the rejection of the passive ‘Ecological Indigene’ trope; and of the literal ways we trace our whakapapa (lineage) to the landscapes of our ancestors. It envisions an Indigenous Aristocracy, dominated by an internally conflicted whānau (family) of exceptional Māori wāhine (women), engaged in power struggles for wealth and control of a new Empire. The central conflict in this narrative conflates the whakataukī (proverb) about the causes of war: He wāhine, he whenua, ka ngaro te tangata – often translated as ‘For women and land, men perish’ – where the battle over a contested territory is fought by resistant Indigenous women, on their own behalf. This image speaks to an intrinsic premise behind this long-awaited Special Issue: that Indigenous voices are diverse, rich and complex. There is no such thing as a typical Indigenous play.' (Hyland, Nicola; Syron, Liza-Mare and Casey, Maryrose. 'Turangawaewae': A place to stand in contemporary indigenous performance in Australasia and beyond 1-16)

    pg. 130-159
Last amended 5 Feb 2019 08:57:15
130-159 'Namatjira' : Beyond the Script - Visual and Performative Aesthetics as Conduits for the Communication of Western Aranda Ontologysmall AustLit logo Australasian Drama Studies