Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane’s Postmodern Traumatics.
Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane’s Postmodern Traumatics examines four plays by British playwright Sarah Kane (1971–1999), all written between 1995 and 1999 within the context of the «Cool Britannia», or «In-Yer-Face» London theatre movement of the 1990s. Kane’s plays were notorious for their shocking productions and challenging and offensive subject matter. This book analyzes her plays as products of a long history of theatrical convention and experimentation, rather than trend. I read Kane’s plays through an optic of trauma theory, and link the trauma to postmodern experience as defined by war, inter-personal violence, repetitive memory, and sex as medium of violence. Kane’s plays’ unrelenting violence and graphic depictions of violent sex suggest a relationship with theories and practices such as Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, and Kroker and Cook’s theory of the postmodern as sign of excremental culture and an inherently abject state of being. Through a play by play analysis I conclude that Kane’s work suggests that violence and trauma are endemic to postmodern life, and are ultimately apocalyptic due to their culmination in Kane’s final play, the suicide text of 4.48 Psychosis
Maria Campbell: Essays on her work
Born near Park Valley, Saskatchewan, on Crown land, often referred to by locals as a road allowance community, Maria Campbell is the oldest of 8 children. Much of her early years are revealed in Halfbreed, the book which would ultimately ensure that Campbell’s life would take a path as a writer, an artist, a community worker and social rights advocate. Campbell has received four honorary doctorates, the Order of Canada, is a Trudeau Mentor, and has garnered numerous awards for her contribution to Métis and Aboriginal people’s and women’s rights in Canada, and for her efforts to preserve traditional knowledge, as well as promote the practice of indigenous knowledge. In addition to writing, Campbell has produced plays, film, television and radio shows, all dedicated to promoting Métis and Aboriginal culture. Contributors to this book include Melissa Lam, Michael Lahey, Helen Hoy, and Dylan A.T. Miner.
“Campbell is a feminist, an activist, a visionary, an artist, a mother, a grandmother, and an elder. And she is also local. Part of my connection to the book comes as a result of Campbell’s stories coming from so close to home – Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia – the hinterland to the world of political activism – not chic, not urban, not exotic. But that locality was what made Campbell’s book so urgent and important to me. This was not the story of some far-away urban woman, writing from the American East Coast, from California, or South Africa. This was a woman who came from the same part of the world as I did. Someone who has walked the same small Canadian city streets as I walked, breathed the same prairie air, listened to the same bird song, and weirdly, shared the same official national history as me. “–Jolene Armstrong
Artist/Machine – mixed media/new media work that grapples with the relationship between artists and Artificial intelligence. Folk issue of Macromicrosm (2021)
“What is to be done?”– poem Issue 7 of Galaxy Brain (www.galaxybrain.ca)