‘You’ve got one hand that’s gushing blood and in the other hand you’re holding the knife. You actually are the full story. Both sides.’
A great-great grandmother sold as a ‘wife’ to a white sealer. Her granddaughter, who buried her identity to survive the settler-colony. A young fair-skinned Palawa man, their descendant, seeking truths about their shared past. Bound by blood and borne by the winds of the Bass Strait Islands, they meet at the Island of the Dead. White history has swallowed their stories but they’re here to wrest them back.
How do you reconcile your identity when your ancestors’ blood is muddied with the blood of their oppressors? Can you still hear their songs when the blare of violence has been so unforgivingly loud? Can you dance it all back?
Winner of the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, the 2022 Kate Challis RAKA Award and the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.
‘Such emotive force, such haunting resonance and such visceral identification. A song of hope…’ — Peter Wilkins, The Canberra Times