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Saturday Afternoon Play-Reading Workshop: ‘The Story Of Go'
Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 14:00
This dramatisation depicts a human society 12,000 years ago in deep crisis because their way of life is changing. The women have withdrawn access to sex but the men are no longer able to go on a big-game hunt to make a collective provision of food. The full moon is coming and tensions break out around the emerging movement towards hierarchical organisation amongst the men. The dilemma expresses itself in the story of an adolescent transgender person who attempts to resolve the difficulties.
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In the Batek’s forest, laughter and mockery are often subject to taboo, and inappropriate laughter or mockery can cause storms, madness, ill-health, or even death. However, although these taboos are viewed and described with utmost seriousness, people also find great pleasure in laughing together and making jokes. In fact, this pleasure is often intensified when the laughter or joke is forbidden and risks catastrophe. This sets up a dynamic whereby it is largely up to individuals whether they choose to follow the taboos, or to ignore them and succumb to the pleasure of sharing in subversive laughter. Speaking to debates on power and ethics, this paper therefore both outlines the Batek’s laughter taboos, and asks how managing the conflicting demands of laughter shapes people’s ethical values, particularly in relation to power, authority, and egalitarianism.