The Bougainville Photoplay Project
A slide show with fireside chat
Devised and performed by Paul Dwyer
Directed by David Williams
Video artist Sean Bacon
Technical production Russell Emerson
1. An eminent Australian orthopedic surgeon makes a series of trips to Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) during the 1960s, just as the era of Australia ’s colonial mandate is drawing to a close. The doctor is presented with dozens of crippled children and lepers; his operations allow many of these people to walk for the first time.
2. The giant Panguna copper mine is established against the wishes of Bougainville’s traditional landowners. Environmental destruction is caused by the mine, and the struggle for Bougainville to become independent of PNG leads to a brutal civil war during which roughly one in ten of the island’s inhabitants die.
3. An Australian academic begins fieldwork study of reconciliation ceremonies on Bougainville in the current period of post-war reconstruction. He carries with him a book of photographs.
Three narrative threads are delicately interwoven in an intimate, moving, and constantly surprising monologue performance from acclaimed performance group version 1.0. Combining field notes, oral history, slides, Super-8 film, video installation and the display of various artefacts, The Bougainville Photoplay Project grapples with the ethical, epistemological and practical dilemmas of making art and conducting research in post-colonial, post-conflict settings, particularly when the artist/researcher is a citizen of the former colonial power. This is politics and performance at its most personal.
The Courtyard Studio,
Canberra Theatre Centre
London Circuit, Civic
3 performances only:
Saturday, 9 February, 9:00 PM
Sunday, 10 February, 9:00 PM
Monday, 11 February, 7:00 PM
Tickets: $20/ $15
Bookings: 02 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatre.org.au