Dates: Tuesday 18th – Thursday 20th July
Blackbirding: a slave trade that swept through the Pacific and Far North Queensland in the 19th Century.
Indentured Labour: A type of exploitative Labour that was implemented after the abolition of slavery. Labourers worked on plantations and construction sites in the British Colonies.
Today, four women talk about their relationship with the indentured labour practice and the displacement it’s caused on their families and communities. Told through video installations, movement, poetry and music, Emele Ugavule weaves through the past, engaging with the installations to question her own relationship with Blackbirding.
After finishing their first self-titled full length performance work at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Black Birds are back with a new creation exploring the history of their namesake.
Black Birds is a Sydney based co-operative led by core members, Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule. With each project, creatives are invited to collaborate on works that dissect and document the female Non-Indigenous Black and Brown diasporic experience in Australia through art and performance in a variety of mediums and spaces – both theatrical and non-theatrical. In the last year, Black Birds have produced two theatrical performances (Festival Fatale & Community Reading Room), a visual art installation (aMBUSH Gallery) and an experimental short film (aMBUSH Gallery & Footscray Community Arts Centre). Black Birds acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as traditional custodians of this land – Australia. As storytellers, they pay respects to elders past and present of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the first storytellers of this land.
“We aim to fight ignorance, voice the disempowered, challenge the idea and meaning of ‘normal’ and connect people. We will do this by educating through voice and movement, listening to and sharing people’s stories, encouraging inclusivity over exclusivity and actively seeking ways to engage and not isolate people.” – Black Birds.
Running time: 60 minutes
Presented by Black Birds
with Kaiya Aboagye, Violet Aarti, Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this performance contains images and voices of people who have died.