Linda Hassall: Politics of Distance: Psychological Landscapes. Contemporary Identity in Australian Gothic Drama

The politics of distance has informed the psychological landscape of Australian cultural identity since settlement and colonisation

The politics of distance has informed the psychological landscape of Australian cultural identity since settlement and colonisation. Australian Gothic drama explores the psychology of distance through socio cultural themes associated with identity, race and belonging. The discussion focuses on the socio cultural and socio-racial Australian landscape that contains ‘the familiar’ and excludes ‘the other’ and further investigates historical white Australian behaviours associated with nationhood through the lens of contemporary Gothic drama. The paper integrates an analysis of Australian post-colonial anxieties that challenge traditional ‘Aussie’ values and mythologies. Discussing the tyranny of distance through conflicting post-colonial positions of land ownership, space and place the paper addresses current Australian debates associated with nationhood through an analysis of contemporary performance texts

Linda Hassall:
An expert in Australian Gothic drama and is Program Director at Griffith University in the Contemporary and Applied Theatre Department. Linda has 30years experience as a director, playwright and dramaturge in professional theatre industry contexts. She applies her comprehensive knowledge of theatre to her teaching and research disciplines at Griffith University. A research focus addresses white inheritance of landscape in creative contexts. Salvation Roses was the top ten finalists in the 2012 Qld Premiers Drama Awards. The research was developed in the award winning The Salvation Project. Her first play Post Office Rose (2008) won a Matilda Award for Best New Play (2006). Linda has a strong social justice agenda and applies her creative experience to profiled Applied Theatre projects such as The Return, the creative outcome of an ARC project 2014 addressing PTS in returning veterans.

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that engages young people in contemporary social issues. Tegan has also collaborated and performed with award-winning theatre company PuppetSoup to deliver puppetry workshops and tour their new bilingual show, ‘Arthur the Bear King’, to rural and socially deprived areas of Wales. Tegan is currently working with The Blue Datto Foundation as a Project Coordinator to expand and develop their interactive road safety education program to young people and communities throughout New South Wales, Australia.