Plunder

1693
"In 1962, Perlman wrote, printed, and self-published the play Plunder. At the time he was working as the printer for the Living Theatre, where he was influenced by Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s politically driven performance work. Perlman used color when printing the script to distinguish between lines spoken by main characters (green); actors sitting in the audience (black); and the narrator (red). Plunder is a tale of the injustices of global capital. It tells the story of an Indian artisan named Krishna Moksa whose livelihood is destroyed by colonialism and capitalism at the hands of a family of businessmen. As the play opens, Moksa takes pleasure in the craft of making bowls. Yet, he finds it increasingly difficult to sell his wares, because cheaper bowls are being manufactured by a factory owned by a family called the Starks. Eventually his livelihood becomes unsustainable. No longer able to support himself and his dependents with his craft, his family becomes itinerant, traveling from one oppressive situation to another in South Africa, Indonesia, and the Congo. The play is structured so that the Starks sit in the audience watching as Moksa’s story is told on stage. We learn over the course of the play that Moksa’s daughter has married into the Stark family and is sitting with them, watching as her father’s life become more and more difficult. Moksa is transformed from a self-directed craftsperson to an unfree, disposable laborer. He works as a miner and a farmer, but he cannot make ends meet. One of Moksa’s fellow miners ob-serves, “We have accepted enough! In the fields we are horses and cattle; in the factories, haulers and pushers. In the mines we are worms who crawl in and bury ourselves to dig out their stones.” Perlman returns to the theme of the free, self-directed craftsperson again and again in his writing and his print work. The care he took in printing and typesetting Plunder echoes Moksa’s relationship to the craft and skill involved in making bowls." The Detroit Printing Co-op by Danielle Aubert.
Cover.
Cover.
48-49.
48-49.
58-59.
58-59.