Jurrungu Ngan-ga (Straight Talk)

About the production

How do we create a story about this future that is true to the values and the forms of the past, how do we create this future when we are not sure in what direction it is going to go? The freedom of the artists is to absorb themselves in a futuristic space and to give it some character and manifestation. I think Marrugeku’s work captures something of this future in insights into what is coming and what is here and what is likely to happen, not just to us, but to the rest of humanity. And these things give us our own sense of purpose and being. That’s the only way we can survive; we have to have our own way of managing and comprehending this future.

Patrick Dodson Yawuru Law Man and Marrugeku Patron, July 2013

Marrugeku has been given its next directive by Patrick Dodson, the company’s long term cultural advisor. Patrick’s cultural and philosophical guidance grounds Marrugeku’s artistic explorations in community, material realities for Indigenous peoples and understanding gained through dialogue and mutual respect. In 2016 Patrick proposed the next step in Marrugeku’s ambitions of building bridges and breaking down walls between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and between local issues in the Kimberley and issues facing the broader global community today. He has proposed that our next task is to develop a major work exploring ‘the fear of the other’. Its local and global implications; intimately personal, national and international.  To do this we will explore how Indigenous resilience in the Kimberley, gained through the hard roads of survival and adaptation to all modernity has thrust upon it, can contribute to global issues of tolerance and respect for difference, or working with the lack thereof, which currently drives some of the greatest hate crimes our world has known.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga means straight talk in Yawuru. Originally a kinship term, Patrick and Dalisa have discussed Jurrungu Ngan-ga as the challenge of talking straight with each other about the issues that hold us back from reconciliation: black and white, tribe to tribe, settler and immigrant, First Peoples, boat peoples, across the fence or across the seas; the opportunities for misunderstanding, for fear and for distrust leading to hate are multiple. So too are the opportunities to look hard at oneself, as a person and a nation, to ask difficult questions, or to face the challenge of finding shared ground through negotiation and collaboration. All these issues will be embodied and expressed in Jurrungu Ngan-ga through Marrugeku’s unique contemporary choreography and multi-media performance— restless, taught and unwavering.

How do we create a story about this future that is true to the values and the forms of the past, how do we create this future when we are not sure in what direction it is going to go? The freedom of the artists is to absorb themselves in a futuristic space and to give it some character and manifestation. I think Marrugeku’s work captures something of this future in insights into what is coming and what is here and what is likely to happen, not just to us, but to the rest of humanity. And these things give us our own sense of purpose and being. That’s the only way we can survive; we have to have our own way of managing and comprehending this future.

Patrick Dodson Yawuru Law Man and Marrugeku Patron, July 2013

Marrugeku has been given its next directive by Patrick Dodson, the company’s long term cultural advisor. Patrick’s cultural and philosophical guidance grounds Marrugeku’s artistic explorations in community, material realities for Indigenous peoples and understanding gained through dialogue and mutual respect. In 2016 Patrick proposed the next step in Marrugeku’s ambitions of building bridges and breaking down walls between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and between local issues in the Kimberley and issues facing the broader global community today. He has proposed that our next task is to develop a major work exploring ‘the fear of the other’. Its local and global implications; intimately personal, national and international.  To do this we will explore how Indigenous resilience in the Kimberley, gained through the hard roads of survival and adaptation to all modernity has thrust upon it, can contribute to global issues of tolerance and respect for difference, or working with the lack thereof, which currently drives some of the greatest hate crimes our world has known.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga means straight talk in Yawuru. Originally a kinship term, Patrick and Dalisa have discussed Jurrungu Ngan-ga as the challenge of talking straight with each other about the issues that hold us back from reconciliation: black and white, tribe to tribe, settler and immigrant, First Peoples, boat peoples, across the fence or across the seas; the opportunities for misunderstanding, for fear and for distrust leading to hate are multiple. So too are the opportunities to look hard at oneself, as a person and a nation, to ask difficult questions, or to face the challenge of finding shared ground through negotiation and collaboration. All these issues will be embodied and expressed in Jurrungu Ngan-ga through Marrugeku’s unique contemporary choreography and multi-media performance— restless, taught and unwavering.