AUSTRAL + ASIA ‘Cultural Space, Theatricality and the Performance of Asia in Australasia’

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Date(s) - 15/11/2012 - 16/11/2012
All Day

Performing Arts Centre (Building 68)



This conference, the inaugural event of the Asian Performance Research Cluster, and the first annual themed conference sponsored by the Monash Asia Institute, seeks to define theatre, performance, and cultural spaces in Australasia. We would like participants in this event to engage with the theatricals and performatives that situate Australasia in Asia and Asian theatre and cultural performance in Australia. We recognise that in Australia and Asia, with their complex multi-ethnic and multicultural communities, contested histories and sites of shifting power or influence, it is a challenge to establish equal opportunities for cultural expression through theatre and performance. Moreover, Asians who find themselves practising and performing in these “third cultural spaces” are also faced with the challenge of creating a framework for both theory and practice that responds to questions of identity, tradition, cultural change (innovation) and preservation, especially in a country such as Australia. This space is also what theorists and cultural activists like Homi K. Bhabha and Gloria Anzaldúa consider as borderlands. It is where individuals and groups may examine hybridity (of culture, language, races, ethnicities) to understand their origins, the present remaking of their culture, the future direction of their lives, and to deconstruct dominant ideologies that shape all of these. Thus, we propose a dialogue between Australian and Asian performers, scholars, and audiences (including policy makers) about issues of cultural identity, community building and changes that occur in this “land down under (Asia)” as seen, practiced and received through theatre and performance-making.

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