Backwards through Bidura (2020)

Video, sound, cassette recorder

Performance, Text: Timothy Gray
Concept, video, editing/design: James Hazel

Developed as part of the Danger/Dancer project
(James Hazel/Sonya Holowell)
Supported by the City of Sydney


Backwards though Bidura was filmed at the former Bidura Children’s Court, and Metropolitan Remand Centre in Glebe - a site historically notorious for its mistreatment of First Nations and low-Socioeconomic young people and children. The site is currently facing demolition and will be ‘developed’ for wealthy investors sometime in the near future - thus erasing its problematic past before it has been reckoned with.

Timothy Gray is a Wiradjuri and Gumbainggir composer and musician - who I met through Sonya Holowell - and is our cultural advisor on the Danger/Dancer project.  Tim is an amazing performer who has played in bands over the years, composed works for ensembles, and who currently works as a tour guide. After many discussions, we both became very interested in exploring the possibility of creating a type of sound-led, counter-tour. During this project, he talked to us experiences with Bidura when he was younger - in which I also found parallels between his experiences and my father’s.

The current incarnation of this work functions as an alternative archive, where the subterraneous and embodied knowledge of the voice and body is re-performed. Tim’s performance brings to the fore themes of institutionalisation, redemption, trauma - spliced with touches of undeniable humour.


Backwards though Bidura was created as part of the larger Danger/Dancer
project.