It has been many years since I have watched this play, however it has stuck to me still mainly because of the themes of colonisation and social darwinism being placed upon the natives peoples, where to progress is to inculcate the values of a hegemony, but also ultimately in this case leads to environmental destruction, the destruction of kinship, culture and the generational’s resolve. The australian story revolves around a man who died in custody in 1983, that motioned the Royal Aboriginal Commission into Deaths in Custody to be formed in 1987.
‘Murujuga’ is a word directly translated from the title of the play, in the language of Roebourne, Western Australia. And apparently Muruja is also home to the outdoor indigenous rock art boasting a million pieces.
John Pat is a man from Pilbara, in the town of Roebourne, who like so many indigenous peoples, died in custody of police officers. The story takes place in the collective memory of the indigenous peoples from the time of the first contact in the 1600s to colonisation during the 1800s and well into the modern era following the Journey of Pat into the afterlife.
In addition to providing amazing cultural mediums, BigHart also works with local communities to empower them through storytelling and fighting for social reforms through theatre and drama. They are an amazing collective and there is so much more to come from them.