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Of All The People In All The World

Home > Perth > Exhibitions | Cultural Events | Theatre | Free | Festivals
by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
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An Exhibition which will Make You See the World Differently
Over the years, the Perth International Arts Festival has developed a strong reputation as a forum for ground-breaking and thought-provoking public exhibitions. This year, the festival has invited provocative UK theatre company, Stan's Cafe, which will be presenting the simple yet visually stunning exhibition, Of All The People In The World at the old Perth GPO building on Forrest Place from Saturday 9th February until Saturday 2nd March.

Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.
Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.


The message behind the exhibition is simple. Using individual grains of rice to represent each person in the world, Of All The People In The World seeks to display in stunning visual form, the vital statistics of the world in which we live: the number of people in villages and cities, the numbers facing war and starvation, those who live and those who die. Counting and tending the piles of rice are members of the theatre company, dressed in smart caretaker uniforms. It's a unique presentation, and one which demonstrates in a tangible form, statistics which are difficult for us to mentally process while they remain abstract numbers.

Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.
Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.


This approach, however, is not the only way that visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibition. Upon entering, each guest is presented with a single grain of rice which serves as a representation of him or her, and which they are encouraged to add to one of the piles: an approach which aims to prod them to contemplate more deeply their own individuality, their relationships with others and their role in the greater family of humanity. It's a powerful approach which prods visitors to not simply remain as idle spectators, but active participants who will leave the exhibition with a deeper realisation about their place in the world and their obligations towards their fellow human beings.

Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.
Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.


As a travelling exhibition, Of All The People In The World is constantly changing according to its setting: the country, the city and the particular venue in which it's being held. Similarly, in the same way that world statistics are always changing, each day the exhibition will slowly evolve, thus reflecting the constant dynamism of the human panorama.

Of All The People In The World also changes in response to the interests and suggestions of specific audiences. Due to its dynamic visual format, it's an extremely effective tool in presenting complex information such as current social statistics and world history to very young children. In the UK during 2004 an adaptation called Plague Nation was successfully presented in schools, focusing on epidemics and the history of vaccination.

Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.
Image from the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.


As members of humanity, it is beneficial for each of us, whether young or old, to cultivate an understanding of our place within the world and an appreciation of the difficulties faced by others. In presenting this dynamic and visually stunning exhibition, Stan's Cafe is attempting to impart this realisation to audiences here in Perth. With its central location at the old GPO, the organisers of the Perth International Arts Festival are hoping that the exhibition will become a popular destination where people working in the city will drop in daily to see what has changed. School groups, families with young children and anyone else who happens to find themselves in the vicinity, are also warmly invited to pop in and take a look.

This year's festival promises to be an awesome event, so try to take advantage of the many free cultural events and activities which have been organised, such as this amazing exhibition. For more information about Of All The People In The World, check out the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company website.
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Why? Of All The People In The World is not only visually stunning but it's also an amazing way to learn about the world in which we live and our fellow human beings.
When: Saturday 9 February – Saturday 2 March, 10am–6pm daily, except Sunday 12-4pm, Friday 10am-8pm.
Where: The Perth GPO building, Forrest Place, Perth
Cost: Free
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