Songket: What happens when one person’s culture is another’s crime?
Koua Neng Vang, a Hmong migrant, is accused of raping Chan, a young textile designer. Was it sexual assault? Or did Koua interpret, in Chan’s signals, the enduring rituals of courtship? Songket is about different cultural notions of love and how the law does, or doesn’t, accommodate cultural diversity.
This Territory was developed in the wake of the 2005 Cronulla riots through a six-month research and consultation process with young people across Sydney. The play centres on a violent incident witnessed by a large group of young people, but they disagree about its details and their significance. In trying to get the story straight, the characters start to navigate relationships across the boundaries of ethnicity, gender, education and prejudice. They are Australia—a hotbed of cultures, and they are on fire.