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Inspirited landscapes: the anthology project

conference contribution
posted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Louise MorrisLouise Morris
Anthology is a site sympathetic theatrical journey through Westlake, now known as Stirling Park – Ngunawal land, a traditional pathway and the site of one of the camps created to house the workers building the new city of Canberra. These families lived at Westlake for 50 years until the 1960’s when the families were relocated, the houses sold and removed. Westlake is now parkland (and prime real estate), nestled between the lake and the Embassies of Yarralumla. Central to the interconnected web of my PhD research, the opportunity to collaborate with Pip Buining to devise and install Anthology provides a rich, investigative environment to examine post-traumatic representation in contemporary Australian culture. The project, even in its early stages, promises to allude to the power of immersive, site-sympathetic performance as a regenerative force in the 21st century.

This paper draws upon Mary Zimmerman’s notion of An Archeology of Performance. What lies in wait for artists in sites, in places…to be uncovered…with its final form revealed through careful excavation? The Anthology Project aims to centralise memory, rituals of remembrance and the importance of place as vital to the restoration and regeneration of community through processing and transcending both personal and cultural trauma.

Ex-resident Ann Gugler, moved to Westlake with her family when she was 4 and has worked tirelessly to collect the stories of the Westlake children and document the existence of the ‘vanished suburb’. In Ann Gugler’s own words, “When one is forgotten, one ceases to exist” and the act of restorative remembering through contemporary performance strives to return some balance to the lives of the past residents as well as a new perspective for the current community and their relationship to the imprint of history embedded in the site.



Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies.Conference (2014 : Wellington, N. Z.)


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Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA)


Wellington, N. Z.

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Brisbane, Qld.

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EN Other conference paper

Title of proceedings

ADSA 2014 : Restoring balance : ecology/sustainability/performance : Proceedings of the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies 2014 conference

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