Who killed Juanita Nielsen?
On July 4th, 1975 Juanita Nielsen, low-income housing activist, style icon and journalist, known for her large beehive hairdo, went to what she believed was a “business meeting” at The Carousel Club, Kings Cross, Sydney and vanished, never to be seen again.
Juanita Nielsen, photograph by David Farrell, 1975.
Juanita was involved in the Green Bans movement, a powerful 1970s alliance between residents and trade unions, that defended the right of low income communities to live in the inner city of Sydney, particularly in Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo. She campaigned against the violent eviction of long term tenants on Victoria Street, Kings Cross, who were being pushed out to make way for the construction of high rise apartment blocks. Her struggle revealed dark connections between developers, organised crime, corrupt police officers and state power; her death forming a riddle which lies at the heart of contemporary Sydney.
The Beehive features Pamela Rabe, Nicolas Hope, Emma Jackson, Ivy D’Orsogna, Maria Tran, Taylor Wiese, Koco Carey, Ebube Uba, Nyx Calder, Sebastian Goldspink, Harry Milas, Amala Groom, Megan Drury, Bronwyn Penrith, Vashti Hughes, Erica Englert, Saoirse Nicholson, Julie Cooper, Amelie Vanderstock, Jennine Khalik, Warren Coulter, Tim Burns, Adam Hilbery in a muti-layered rereading of Juanita’s story.
In The Beehive Zanny Begg has teamed up with software engineer Andy Nicholson to create a randomised non-linear video installation that allows multiple versions of the story to unfold. The Beehive won the inaugural $70,000 ACMI and Artbank commission and premiered at ACMI on July 31, 2018.
To read a review of The Beehive in The Sydney Morning Herald click here.
The Beekeeper Pamela Rabe
Koco Carey, Julie Cooper, Megan Drury, Erica Englert, Amala Groom, Vashti Hughes, Emma Jackson, Jennine Khalik, Ivy D’Orsogna, Maria Tran, Ebube Uba and Amelie Vanderstock
Ester Bronwyn Penrith
John Glebe Tim Burns
Debbie Saoirse Nicholson
Frank Theeman Nicolas Hope
Eddie Trigg Taylor Wiese
Loretta Crawford Nyx Calder
Jim Anderson Sebastien Goldspink
Joe Meissner Warren Coulton
Policeman Adam Hilbery
Poker Dealer Harrison Milas
Showgirl Teneale Clifford
Writer/Director/Editor Zanny Begg
Producer/Script Editor Philippa Bateman
Line Producer Sharon Abela
Director of Photography Emma Paine
Sound Design Hugh Fasher
Costume Matthew Stegh
Make Up Annette McKenzie
Hair David Grainger
Composers Jasmine Guffond and James Brown
Singer: Mara Knežević
Software Engineer Andy Nicholson
Bee Handlers Doug Purdie and Vicky Brown, The Urban Beehive
Bee Photographs Sam Droege
“Concrete and Glass” written and sung by Mick Fowler, 1973.
An Enigma Machine Production. A special thanks to all supporters of The Beehive Indiegogo campaign!