Reading of the text “Dago” by Natalia Karagianni accompanied by live music with piano and electronics.
“Dago” deals with the death of a nineteen-year-old Greek immigrant in Tasmania in 1956, a time when Australia’s immigration policy was still officially racist. The text is a meditation on the silencing of the author’s uncle’s death, mute mourning and the ‘unspoken name’ – a name that is constantly encountered and constantly avoided. Avoidance of the name of the dead is also part of the customs of Aboriginal Tasmanians (and all of Australia): the phenomenon is called “avoidance discourse” by ethnolinguists. Starting from this coincidence, but also from others that emerge en route from audio and visual documents of the time, the text also proposes an exploration of the encounter between Tasmania’s almost exterminated Blacks and the Greeks who arrive there in 1956 as other Blacks.
The word “dago” is an invention and comes from the derogatory name Dago, which was applied to Hispanic, Portuguese, Italian and sometimes Greek immigrants to the United States. Rarely, it was also used in Australia, where the most common name for Greeks was Wog.
text: Natalia Karagianni
music: Christos Barbas
Read by Natalia Karagianni, Angeliki Papoulia.
*The reading is in the greek language.