'Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.' (Source: publishers website)
'Compelling contemporary dance, soul-stirring soundscapes and uniquely Australian stories – Bangarra is a company at the peak of its powers. In superb form after the sold-out season of Bennelong, we return in 2018 with a major new dance work, Dark Emu.
'Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s award-winning book of the same name, Dark Emu explores the vital life force of flora and fauna in a series of dance stories directed by Stephen Page. With long-time Bangarra collaborators Steve Francis (music), Jacob Nash (sets) and Jennifer Irwin (costumes) bringing their impeccable aesthetic to the production, Dark Emu will satisfy your spirit and connect you to Country.' (Production summary)
'What if Australia were to stop farming? At approximately 3% of gross domestic product, the removal of agriculture from the economy would be a significant hit. It would affect our balance of payments — 60% of agricultural produce is exported and it contributes 13% of Australia’s export revenue.' (Introduction)
'In 2015, Richie Benaud hosted an ‘Australia Day’ barbeque, a pantheon of colonial historical figures on his invite list. Benaud gathered the English navigator, Captain James Cook, who remapped and renamed the east coast of this continent in 1770, and Burke and Wills, whose agonising deaths at Coopers Creek in 1861 were possibly in part the result of them coming to rely on the seeds of an aquatic fern, nardoo (Marsilea drummondii), for nutrition.' (Introduction)
'Many years ago I read a now forgotten novel by a now forgotten author, which had a truly wonderful preface. It read, simply, this bloody book nearly killed me. I therefore dedicate it, dear Reader, to myself. There is a delicate irony at play, I think, in my long remembering this dedication while the book itself is erased completely from my memory. I’ll touch on the interplay of knowledge and memory in due course. What I want to start by saying, though, is that in my case, as in the case of that forgotten preface’s author, while writing can be a horrifically stressful business - and while writing this paper did indeed feel like it was going to kill me - the Author is emphatically Not Dead.' (Introduction)
'Bangarra Theatre's Stephen Page was so inspired by Bruce Pascoe's non-fiction book Dark Emu hat he has created a dance show.'
'Bunurong man, Aboriginal language guru and jack of all trades Bruce Pascoe has taken out one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards with his latest work, Dark Emu.'
'The Victorian writer won Book of the Year category and shared the inaugural Indigenous Prize at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards announced at the State Library of NSW in Sydney last night.'
'Ellen van Neerven’s Heat and Light shared the indigenous award and $30,000 with Pascoe.'