Our Blood Runs in the Street
Creator and Director: Shane Anthony
Cast: Andrew Fraser, Cassie Hamilton, David Helman, Eddie Orton, Sam Plummer, Ross Walker and Tim Walker.
image: Jasmin Simmons
‘Our Blood Runs in the Street’ draws on the submissions and hearing transcripts from the NSW Parliamentary inquiry into Gay and Transgender Hate Crimes between 1970 and 2010 that was established on 19th September 2018 with the interim report filed on 26th February 2019.
Between 1970 and 2010 approximately 88 gay men in NSW were brutally killed and very little was done to find their murderers or seek justice. They were not just killed. Some were decapitated, burnt, raped, parts of their bodies removed, strangled, kicked … their bodies flung from cars and over cliffs.
You would think that these sadistic details would have been enough to motivate dogged scrutiny of the cases but strangely the deaths of these men dissolved into history until the above cited new Parliamentary enquiry.
Strange too, when contrasted with this Saturday night's Mardi Gras celebration in Sydney. Joyous crowds, including police and politicians marched proudly with the parade and kept a caring eye on the men, women and children who were both participating in and spectators of the event.
‘Our Blood runs in the Street’ is a testament to those lost gay lives. It is a performance that mixes dance (at times disturbingly violent); descriptive and personalised monologues (about the brutality met by victims); and vignettes of critical moments before the victims' deaths.
The similarities between all political crimes are obvious. Unfortunately, when individuals or individuals within institutions feel unease – feel threatened or strangely tempted by an ‘other’ more vulnerable person or group – bullying, bigotry and at worst, violence and rape may be the outcome. Gay men and women, men and women of different racial heritage, children, women, trans individuals; we now know that political crimes toward all these relatively disempowered groups have been hidden or ignored for a period in our history. Those in positions of responsibility and/or those whose interests were served by the status quo simply turned a blind eye.
"Our blood runs in the streets and in the parks and in casualty and in the morgue....
Our own blood, the blood of our brothers and sisters, has been spilt too often….
Our blood runs because in this country our political, educational, legal and
religious systems actively encourage violence against us…
(From the ‘One in Seven’ Manifesto, Sydney Star Observer, 5 April 1991)
Can’t say 'Our Blood Runs on the Streets’ is an enjoyable night out but it is definitely an important one.
Our Blood Runs on the Street
Red Lines Productions at the Old Fitz
Until 21 March