June 03, 2012

Bindjareb Pinjarra

Last night, I went and saw a comedy about a massacre. I'd be lying if I said I was keen but I'm really glad someone dropped out and I snaffled a ticket. Here's why..

This was the last night of Bindjareb Pinjarra playing at the Seymour Centre, presented by Reconciliation Australia. The play, largely improvised, explores the oral and written history surrounding the events of 1834 where allegedly a very large number of Aboriginal Australians at Pinjarra (86 km from Perth) were killed by soldiers led by the-then Governor of Western Australia, James Sterling. While referred to as the "Battle of Pinjarra" the play depicts how one-sided the conflict was.

The play has been touring Australia for many years but this was the first time I'd heard about the subject matter. So what does any curious person do in 2012? I looked it up on Wikipedia. And sure enough, for all the world to see, the event is still recorded as


There was a 2010 Wikipedia request to rename the page to Pinjarra Massacre, while retaining reference to the historical label, but this move didn't make it through the Wikipedia process due to a lack of consensus at the time. But according to the play, Western Australian students are now given the topic "Battle or Massacre" in the high school curriculum. Perhaps as part of national healing it's time to make a new move to the Wikipedians and update the history books.

And before I forget, the show was bloody entertaining and at times hilarious thanks to theatresports-style audience participation. Funny massacre... who would have thought?! Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Posted by .M. at 02:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack