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Locating an indigenous ethos in ecological performance

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Woynarski, L. (2015) Locating an indigenous ethos in ecological performance. Performing Ethos, 5 (1 & 2). pp. 17-30. ISSN 1757-1987

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1386/peet.5.1-2.17_1

Abstract/Summary

Stories are powerful forms of representation and cultural imagery in many Indigenous cultures, and performance is a site where these stories are shared, revealed and enacted, making it a powerful site of cultural imagery for Indigenous ecological knowledges and cosmologies. I argue that an Indigenous ecological ethos is a necessary addition to thinking about performance and ecology, one that resists patronizing and simplistic stereotypes of the ‘eco-Indian’ and acknowledges diverse, complex and evolving epistemologies. Drawing on Huggan and Tiffin’s postcolonial- ism ecocriticism, as well as May and Kuppers experience as non-Indigenous scholars and practitioners, this article considers the role postcolonial ecology might play in the field of performance and ecology and how non-indigenous scholars and theatre- makers might engage with it. I suggest strategies for locating an Indigenous ecolog- ical ethos, through Däwes, Nolan, Howe and Halba and their critical reflections on Indigenous performances specifically attuned to ecological concerns. I draw on plays and performances that highlight the inseparability of land, identity and more- than-human (Salmon is Everything, NK603: Action for Performer & e-Maiz, Woman for Walking); work that is non-linear and recognizes the simultaneity of past, present and future (Burning Vision, Chasing Honey); and work that takes up ecological justice issues (Sila). These aspects suggest ways of locating an Indigenous ecological ethos and developing a more multivocal and inclusive field of performance and ecology.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:67196
Publisher:Intellect Ltd

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