June 25 2010

Alyson’s Darwin Adventure part 2

Deckchair Cinema in Darwin, Australia 2010

“And so my first week at DCA began bright and early on Monday morning with a busy day ahead – My Sister’s Kitchen in the afternoon followed by a workshop with a multi-cultural youth group.

All this was taking place at DCA‘s office’s in an area called Malak. Malak is made up mostly of public housing, giving homes to refugees and Indigenous Australians. The organisation is actually in a disused shopping centre, which at first feels very odd as it’s very quiet and you’re surrounded by empty shops in what once must have been a bustling shopping precinct. DCA take up a few ‘shops’ where they have office rooms, two computer rooms, a recording studio space and a kitchen. But the best thing is, further down the hall they have a huge room that has become a workshop/performance space named Chambers Crescent Theatre, giving them a great multi-purpose space. It was here that My Sister’s Kitchen was being held.

My Sister’s Kitchen is a project that brings together the different cultures in the community through the medium of cooking. Each week, a different member of the group makes a traditional meal from their country, and everyone else works together to prepare the food. This is a great way to meet new people, practice English and get out of the house. I loved it! The atmosphere was fantastic and I really enjoyed having a natter as I chopped vegetables and had a cry over the onions.

There was not too much time for me to chat though as I had work to do. Some of the ladies had brought along their very excitable children so it was time for them to be tamed – with some drama games! The group enjoyed games such as Same Journey and Make for Me, and even some of the adults drifted across to join in, resulting in a very tense game of Pulse Train! It was great fun! It was when the food was finished the noise dropped as everyone tucked into the delicious meal (it was Samosa’s this week) together. What a fun afternoon, something I will look forward to each week.

The rest of the week has flown by. I spent some time with drama worker Sarah H (DCA have our Al problem, but with Sarahs!) working with her Life Without Barriers disability groups. One of these group are currently rehearsing their adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which is looking fantastic. Other things have included preparing and advertising for my forum theatre workshops starting next week, very exciting about that!

Last night night Brenda and I went to the Deckchair Cinema fund-raising night as part of World Refugee Week, something I’ve been really looking forward to. And it was fantastic! Nestled in trees next to the sea there’s a big raised screen and rows and rows of deckchairs. It looked like something out of the movies! The film being played was called Hope which followed the story of Amal (who’s name translated means Hope) who was one of the survivors from the boat SievX, which sunk in 2001. It was a people-smuggling boat that left Indonesia for Australia that killed 358 of its 400 passengers. I was amazed how such a tragedy had happened and so many deaths, yet I had never heard of it. Under the moonlight I was totally absorbed in the film, that was until big goanna (apparently, but it looked like a snake to me!) was running around under our seats! Needless to say, I watched the rest of the film with my legs crossed, waiting for some thing to jump and bite me on the bum!

What a fantastic first week! Here’s to five more.”

Alyson Evans – Drama Development Worker

Funded by The Arts Council of Wales

Alyson’ Darwin Adventure Film part 1

As part of her exchange with Darwin Community Arts, Alyson Evans is keeping a video diary of her experiences. Her first entry comes from the World Refugee Day event in Darwin, Australia. The day involved traditional performances from around the world, stalls full of information for newcomers to Australia, and craft workshops.

View Alyson’ Darwin Adventure Film part 1.

Alyson’s First Week Photo Gallery:

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