The Bougainville Photoplay Project @ Brisbane Powerhouse

A one man performance that is politics and performance at its most personal, The Bougainville Photoplay Project is a must-see when it is brought to the Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre by Mobile States from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 August.

An intimate performance that highlights the moral and ethical commitments binding Australians and the people of Bougainville (PNG) in the wake of a civil war, The Bougainville Photoplay Project is devised and performed by Paul Dwyer, a writer, performer and academic with his own personal connection to Bougainville.

Dwyer retraces three journeys made by his father, Dr Allan Dwyer, a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon, to Bougainville during the 1960’s, healing dozens of crippled children.

Family stories become entwined with the larger narrative of Australia’s colonial enterprise over the years following – the opening of the giant Panguna copper mine, environmental devastation, a brutal civil war funded by Australia that cost the lives of up to 20,000 people, and finally, the post-war reconciliation process.

Since 2004, Paul Dwyer has been making his own journeys to Bougainville, conducting research on the reconciliation process and picking up the threads of those encounters between his father and the Bougainvillian children he once operated on.

The Bougainville Photoplay Project, produced by Version 1.0, deftly combines field notes, oral history, a crash course in pidgin English, reconstructions of complex surgical procedures, letters, diaries, slides, super-8 film and video installation. More than that it is accessible, disarming and affecting – quite simply, a powerful story, beautifully told.

Sydney-based Version 1.0 is an ensemble of artists who make devised performances that are both political and intensely personal, based on strong research and that engage with significant political and social issues using innovative theatrical strategies. Paul Dwyer has worked as dramaturg on several of their works, which have toured extensively.

For more information call 07 3358 8600 or go to

Brisbane Powerhouse is Brisbane City Council’s leading arts performance venue helping to deliver a vibrant and creative city.

Date: Wed 25 – Sat 28 August
Time: 8pm
Venue: Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets: All tickets $28
Bookings: 07 3358 8600 or