The PHAR Project is Tonight

Note by Kristian Lasslett

A good news story (spread the word)! Tonight (SAT 3 Nov) Paga Hill Arts Resistance will be performing at the Moresby Arts Theatre (for details see

As many will know Paga Hill came under the spotlight, when police demolished much of lower Paga, at the request of the Paga Hill Development Company, an organisation which is largely run from Australia by Gudmundur Fridriksson and George Hallit. It was a profound attack on the dignity and rights of the community. Tonight they will speak out, not with fists or guns, like those who sort their destruction, but with words, images, song and dance.

Those on stage will be the very people who have been characterised as “criminals” and “illegal squatters” in the national and international media. Of course, in reality these are hardworking Papua New Guineans with hopes, dreams, families, loved ones, and they have been gifted the talent to tell their community’s journey in a way that I know will delight and move the audience.

Some people have used the word Melanesian spring to describe the flowering of public discourse over the past two years. Tonight is a powerful articulation of this change. It is the voice of the unheard being heard; it is the critique of the silent majority.

I am sure it will be a spectacular evening, and a testament to the hard work that has been put in by all involved in the Paga Hill Art Resistance. Well done to the community, they are an inspiration.


6 thoughts on “The PHAR Project is Tonight

  1. This is POWERFUL! Harnesing the affected peoples power in another way to tell the world the TRUTH. That they cannot always fall prey to be victimized by corporate companies. As pngeans we always lived a communal life. Let us continue to stand together & support each other.

      1. The show was an intense multi-media performance that began with a typical scene in the Paga Hill community, of people going to church and going about their lives. Then it turned into havoc. They screened a video clip of Dame Carol Kidu trying to stop the demolition on that day, she was arguing with the police officers who were staging it and they forcefully led her away as the houses were destroyed. While this was happening, Jeffrey Feeger and other artists were creating a painting live on stage. It was beautiful to see them paint as the actors (people from the community) restaged the painful destruction and its aftermath. Between acts, video interviews with residents and slide show portraits were screened. The final scene had the community reassemble and affirm its commitment to using arts, yoga and peaceful resistance to make a stand for their human rights.

  2. Hi Martin, Amelia and Manu, thanks for your interest, I’m happy to announce that due to popular demand, The PHAR Project is on again and this time it will be part of the UN Human Rights Festival in Papua New Guinea.

    Show starts at the Moresby Arts Theatre, 7pm till 9pm, Friday the 16th Nov 2012. Admission at the door is K60 (Students with ID and any children under 12 pay K30).

    For those of you who missed out the last time, this is your opportunity to see a ground breaking theatre performance in Papua New Guniea.

    The PHAR Project is directed by Philippe Schneider and myself and is a huge collaborative effort featuring some of the best local and international PNG artistic talent, it fuses live painting, dance, music and video multimedia with the raw and powerful performances of the Paga Hill Community(victims of a recent forced eviction) It has been described as a theatre documentary based on real and ongoing events the likes of which has not been seen before in PNG.

    We have an updated flyer available if anyone is interested in helping us promote the show. Contact me on

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