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Award-winning Ghenoa Gela premieres untold story of climate change on Torres Strait Islands

[by Airlie Walters]

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 Image: supplied

Award-winning choreographer and performer Ghenoa Gela will premiere her landmark new production, GURR ERA OP at Sydney Festival from January 13 - 19.

 

This is a visionary masterpiece of contemporary storytelling exposing the devastating impact of climate change on the Torres Strait Islands. Produced in creative association with Force Majeure in collaboration with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, GURR ERA OP (meaning “the face of the sea” in Meriam Mir), invites audiences on the journey of four mainland-born Torres Strait Islander women as they confront the imminent threats posed to their home, culture, and identity by the rising tide of climate change.

 

‘What would you do if you could never go home?’ ‘What happens to your identity when the physical place that holds your ancestral foundations disappears?’ These are some of the poignant questions Gela asks as water laps on the doors of her family home, causing destruction to her ancestral homelands.

 

Drawing on her fear of displacement, Ghenoa Gela describes the work as her “contribution to the collective voices of Torres Strait Islander peoples who are standing up, fighting to bring visibility to the rising waters.”

 

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company's Associate Director Amy Sole (Nan's Place) shares with Force Majeure their knowledge and distinctly black perspectives on directing and dramaturgy to support Ghenoa in this vital storytelling.

 

This ground-breaking performance by a stellar ensemble of First People creators is a celebratory sharing of culture and a call to action in the face of climate devastation.

 

GURR ERA OP interweaves hybrid Torres Strait Islander contemporary storytelling, movement and spoken word. GURR ERA OP Dates: 13 – 19 January 2024 Venue: The Studio Theatre at Bangarra, Wharf 4/5, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay Tickets: $65 + BF Duration: 60 mins, no interval

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