Combining video and performance-oriented text, this genre-bending o-pei-la is a multispecies enactment of experimental natural history. Our players consider the golden treasure snail (金寶螺 kim-pó-lê; Pomacea canaliculata and relatives; golden apple snail), first imported to Taiwan from Argentina in 1979 for an imagined escargot industry, but now a major pest of rice agriculture in Taiwan and across Asia. Whereas farmers in the Green Revolution’s legacy use poison to exterminate snails, a new generation of friendly farmers (友善小農; youshan xiaonong) in Taiwan’s Yilan County hand-pick snails and attempt to learn enough about their lives to insert farming as one among many multispecies life ways within the paddy.
Written by Anna Tsing
Directed by Thomas Bostock
Produced by Holly Shuttleworth
Performed by Phoebe Naughton, Cordelia Stevenson and Nancy Ofori