A new work, developed by Peter and Andrew created for Storytelling Australia Vic's project Words on the Wind, was premiered at The Library at the Dock on the 20th November. The fifth in a series of six, New World Dreaming is the second collaborative piece, the first being Teena Hartnett and Jackie Kerin’s The Ways of Winged One and Women.
In the 1850s Andrew’s Irish great, great grandparents fled the blighted potato fields of Donegal and reached Melbourne, via India in rebellion. They arrived in Melbourne in summer, to a welcome of bushfires, wild dogs and news of the Great Melbourne Telescope gazing at the heavens.
Peter’s in-laws left Calabria in the 1950s, where the war had destroyed the established order in their village. Women did men’s work and men, especially the ones who had been prisoners of war, had glimpsed other ways of life. When the old order began to reassert itself those who expected more of life had to look elsewhere.
These stories are compassionate and moving. Immaculately researched and eloquently told. The idea of people having to move away from their land, language and culture to create a new life away from all that was once loved and familiar resounds powerfully for those trying to reconcile their good fortune with the displacement of others.
Genealogists - you would especially love this show.
To learn more about our next show with storyteller Roslyn Quin on December 18 or to enquire about Andrew McKenna and Peter Fernon, check out the Storytelling Australia Victoria website.
Words on the Winds shows are FREE and made possible by Melbourne City Council grants and the Library at the Dock.