Still locking them up

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The Marrugeku ensemble in a scene from 'Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk]'.
The Marrugeku ensemble in a scene from 'Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk]'.

Marrugeku is turning the spotlight on Australia’s approach to locking people up, in a visceral, turbo-charged new dance work. Called Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk], the new creation “examines the common thread that connects outrageous levels of Indigenous incarceration to the indefinite detaining of asylum seekers”.

Three years in development between Marrugeku’s twin homes of Broome and Sydney, this dance theatre creaton is inspired by perspectives on incarceration shared by Yawuru leader Senator Patrick Dodson, Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani and philosopher Omid Tofighian.

Marrugeku Co-Artistic Directors Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain say that Jurrungu Ngan-ga is a searing, often darkly humorous and ultimately transformative portrayal of fear: “It reflects on the disgraceful disproportion of Indigenous Australians in custody and first-hand descriptions of life inside Australia’s immigration detention centres.”

“White Australia was founded of a dream of imprisonment and that mission has evolved into a fixation with locking people away. This work reveals how a range of perspectives can address this burning issue of our times and pave a way forward together,” they say.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga will be performed in Sydney (4 – 7 August), Darwin (13 – 14 August) and Melbourne (August 18-22).


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