Staring into the mouth of a lamprey

Photo: Dr Kara McKechnie

Part of the Invisible Diaries series:

Week 4 / Day 3

Week 4 / Day 2

Week 4 / Day 1


Photo: The mouth of a lamprey

My day ends staring into the mouth of a lamprey. I was giving feedback on a film script for an Indigenous creature feature and these were the stars. Terrifying and yet beautiful. They can climb cliffs with the power of their sucker mouths. They’re parasites, sucking out the blood of other bigger fish. Perhaps dramaturgs are the same to playwrights? Did you see the Oscar-winning movie Parasite? The Farewell? Shoplifters? Crazy Rich Asians? As the director of Parasite Bong Joon-ho said: “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

Today started with my article on the Indigenous theatre response to the climate crisis being published on the theatre commons HowlRound. I sent it to my Mum in New Zealand. She loved it… and sent me back corrections. HowlRound asked if I wanted to make any changes. I sent them four corrections and added another shoutout.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned.

My shoutout was to Lindsay Lachance, the Artistic Associate of Indigenous Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre. Lindsay’s dissertation for her PhD at the University of British Columbia, The embodied politics of relational Indigenous dramaturgies, features land-based, place-based and community-engaged dramaturgies. It provides a foundation and inspiration for all those working in Indigenous theatre.

Our family has survived the first day of moving. I feel like we should have ceremonies for our old and new house. I’m big on ceremony. I try to mark all the rituals no matter how cheesy: Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Anzac Day, Waitangi Day, Easter… one year we did: “What would Jesus eat?” Smudging is a powerful ritual for some Indigenous Peoples in Canada. They burn sage so the smoke purifies and cleanses. You can do this for yourself, for a group, or for a space, like when you enter a theatre.