TO attend the Georgetown Festival 2018 event, Kaboom: Stories From Distant Frontlines, I had
to walk through an alley that boasted old iron stuff, like an anvil, anchors, and fishing hooks. The end of the alley sat a senior guy in a rattan chair, with the front door open to his house.
But for the show, I was led to a side door of an abandoned shophouse. Art Lane, using the Victoria St Entrance, was the sign on the flyer for the show.
In the first room, a video of words played on one wall. Walking to the next room, there was a video playing about a man talking about his experiences in the Iran-Iraq war. An actor was playing around with a suit, maybe army issue. Then, another actor started to put
on a gas mask and wellies, and like an acrobat in a trapeze show, used a rope to climb to the ceiling to place shoes in the sill. (Why, oh why? People going to heaven?)
Walking into an adjacent room, a video played of a man who spoke of escaping the Holocaust to fight in the Pacific Islands along with a guardian monkey. An actor with a monkey mask sat facing us in the room, as the video played… “the guns killed, I didn’t”, was one line I can recall.
Stifled in the heat of Penang, I walked up a steep staircase to another room where an actor sat on a long table with a plate of food. A TV set played a video newsreel of a ship being bombed. She stopped eating, went to take a bowl of water, and climbed on top, sort of, and wailed an anguished cry that was absolutely primeval. It was about loss, for sure.
Then my group was led to another room, where a video played words associated with death — never say die, beyond the grave, drop dead, etc – which are commonplace.
Then came the last room, where an actor was hidden by a silk screen and images of falling people started to play. A face came forth, speaking about how we go about our daily work, but war is happening all the time. It was a child soldier of Burundi.
The actor crawled out under the screen, and started to pick up shoes. The acrobat-trapeze actor climbed down a rope from above the screen, and started picking up shoes too. (How did she get there? From heaven, she came to pick up shoes?)
The two actors placed shoes with candles in them on the floor, as they walked out of the room. The end?
I had to follow the shoes to leave the shophouse.
I stopped outside and peeked at the shop next to the alley. An iron-making kedai!
Maybe you can find more info from here: http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/events/2015-09-06/adf15-kaboom-stories-distant-frontlines