Who remembers where they were…?
Whitenoise:12 ghosts crawls into the death chamber of White Australia’s memory banks and pulls out a pretty little filly of a mess.
Lindy Chamberlain: Been there, done that.
Mamdouh Habib: Been there, done that.
First Gulf War: Seen it all before (and after).
But what about how much we are cruelling ourselves? Thinking we are smart and savvy but living in the grip of the mind-numbing spin of the 24-hour news cycle, the prevalence of fake news and the avalanche of information on social media platforms. One horror event after another desensitising us to the extent that we don’t remember what happened two days ago or even yesterday. What is happening to our memory, our sensitivity, our political engagement? We plow on, never fully processing or comprehending the deeper effects or implications of events.
And we think we are politically aware even as we are blind to the blinkers on our understanding of the histories that have made us.
The three performance pieces in Whitenoise: 12 ghosts – the Lindy Chamberlain case, the arrest and torture of Mamdouh Habib, the First Gulf War − engage with the history that signals these issues and reappraises their contemporary impact.
These performance pieces do a slow-news, deep-dive into gender, war, terrorism and its anti-terror laws. The stories and characters are iconic characters and events that have never been fully processed or comprehended in their long-term repercussions. They are iconic while we are dumbstruck.
Whitenoise: 12 ghosts excavates the violence of overwhelming power of every kind, that relentlessly subjugates us without our full knowledge, and pulls it into the bloody light of today.