Joshua Pether
Resident Artists/
26 June - 13 July 2023
Performance Space

Joshua Pether

Joshua Pether, Janine Oxenham & Helah Milroy

The Reckoning

The Reckoning is a decolonisation project and a spiritual quest that aims to generate a First Nations performance methodology addressing the intergenerational trauma of Australia’s colonial past and its collective amnesia. The Reckoning facilitates reflective engagement and healing through a First Nations paradigm and performance pedagogy. 

First Nations ways of being and knowing have been critical areas of resistance in the process of decolonisation. A First Nations paradigm amplifies embodied knowledge to help achieve balanced relationships with both human and non-human forms. This performance methodology will connect mind, body and spirit with ways of learning as a collective experience becoming an act of decolonisation to explore and honour First Nations ways of being and doing.

In 2021 Joshua, Helah and Janine created The Reckoning through a 2-week residency at PICA. Through this development, a performance methodology was devised that utilised First Nations wisdom and knowledge whilst also taking inspiration from Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theatre developed in response to the trauma of the bombing of Hiroshima. The development involved the performers ‘reckoning’ with themselves and with geographical sites of significance to First Nations people. It also acknowledged the role of DNA in this understanding and how that has shaped who we are today. The outcome was a 7-hour durational performance. 

In this iteration of The Reckoning, Joshua, Helah and Janine will revisit their 7-hour durational odyssey performance and extend it to 24 hours. This iteration will also investigate ways of acknowledging the role of the audiences (or witnesses) as a critical element to this journey – recognising the shared experience for both the performer and the audience.  

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