Associate Professor David Watt

Conjoint Associate Professor

School of Creative Arts (Drama)

Career Summary

Biography

My recent publication record is a result of a change in research direction, exemplified by my establishment of the Performance, Community Development and Social Change research group, and my involvement in developing the universitys new Arts/Health Research Centre.

I have been negotiating a shift from the conventional methodologies of my 1990s research to an embrace of the practice-as-research methodologies emergent internationally in my discipline, and to attempts to adapt them to CCD practice. I have thus spent my time establishing a context, and investigating and testing methodologies, for practice-as-research, which led to the development, with no administrative assistance, of the research group (4 academic staff, 5 international associates, 7 postgrads), the negotiation of cross-disciplinary and industry partnerships for projects, and to reporting on this work-in-progress via conference papers in international forums. This work is now bearing fruit and has produced 4 long-term projects: *The Royal on the Move, with colleagues from Fine Art, an industry partnership with the Hunter New England Area Health Service, and a collaboration with Livesites, a local council-initiated arts organisation. This entailed involvement in a year-long CCD process meetings to devise and implement a processional performance for March 2006.

A joint publication (See Schaefer & Watt ) has been accepted and will appear in 2007 *The Birabahn/Threlkeld Project, with support from the NSW Arts Ministry and in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council, the Hunter Writers Centre, the Arwarbarkurl Cultural Resource Association and the university's Umillico Aboriginal Studies Research Centre. This has entailed four years of planning and involvement in a year-long CCD process leading to a public performance last November. Publications arising are being drafted, and a further stage is planned. *Maitland Gaol/People's Histories, in partnership with Maitland City Council. This project centres on the work of a postgrad, under my supervision. I initiated and negotiated the set-up of the project, and assisted the postgrad to, firstly, complete an Honours thesis, and secondly, to begin publishing on it (he delivered a paper on it at the International Federation for Theatre Research conference in 2005). This has involved four years of meetings and focus group sessions. *The Windale Project: "2306 in Our Own Words", in partnership with the Hunter Writers' Centre. This is a cross-disciplinary practice-based research project (Drama and Human Geography) investigating the usefulness of CCD in developing a sense of community in a public housing estate, for which we have applied for an ARC Discovery grant for 2008-10.

Research Expertise
I have published consistently, particularly on community-based performance, in which I an international reputation, and most notably in a book, Workers' Playtime (co-authored with Alan Filewood from the University of Guelph in Canada), which explores labour movement theatre since 1970 in Australia, Canada and the UK. My international reputation has facilitated the establishment of connections with colleagues both in Australia and overseas, and occasionally to collaborations on projects – for example, the Chief Investigator for Newcastle on AusStage, an ARC-funded collaboration between 18 Australian universities to establish and maintain a web-based database of live performance in Australia since white settlement, and my collaboration with Prof Filewod has extended into a project on the documentary theatre work of British theatre maker Peter Cheeseman. My most recent research has resulted from a developing interest in questions of place and performance beyond the conventionally theatrical, and in the role of the generation of performance in community contexts in investigating questions of history, heritage and popular memory, and the ways in which these processes may assist in consolidating senses of local identity. Most of these have been practice-as-research projects and have thus led to artistic research outcomes (like the production of the interactive, site-specific performance piece Ngarrama in 2007 or the Royal on the Move procession which ceremonially marked the closure of the Royal Newcastle Hospital in 2006) as well as conventional academic publication. They have also involved cross-disciplinary collaborations with academic colleagues in Cultural Geography, Aboriginal Studies and Fine Art at the university, and collaborations with local government and arts organizations, artists and Community Cultural Development workers, made possible by my involvement with local grassroots cultural groups as well as my research.

Teaching Expertise
I have supervised at Honours, MA and PhD level, predominantly in the area of theatre for community development and popular theatre in Australia, Indonesia and the West Indies, and has also supervised a range of practice-as-research projects within the now discontinued Master of Creative Arts degree.


Qualifications

  • PhD, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University

Keywords

  • Brecht and political theatre in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Documentary and site-specific performance
  • Medieval theatre
  • Popular Theatre
  • Theatre for community development and social change

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/1991 - 1/01/2007 Senior Lecturer

Drama

University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia
1/01/1977 - 1/01/1991 Lecturer

Drama

University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
Member - Australasian Drama Studies Association Australasian Drama Studies Association
Australia
Member - IFTR International Federation for Theatre Research
Australia

Invitations

Participant

Year Title / Rationale
2005 'Get Real' Conference, ,Sydney
Description: Chair, panel on 'Political Theatre'
2003 Theatre of Protest
Organisation: Sydney Theatre Company
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2001 Watt DM, Filewood A, Workers' Playtime: theatre and the labour movement since 1970, Currency Press, Sydney (2001) [A1]

Chapter (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Arrighi G, Watt DM, '(Re) Constructing the archive: A regional perspective on performance histories', Scrapbooks, Snapshots and Memorabilia: Hidden Archives of Performance, Peter Lang, Bern, Switzerland 67-82 (2011) [B1]
Co-authors Gillian Arrighi
2009 Watt DM, 'Local knowledges, memories and community: From oral history to performance', Political Performances: Theory and Practice, Rodopi, Amsterdam 189-214 (2009) [B1]
2007 Filewod A, Watt DM, 'Melbourne Workers Theatre: The meat in the sandwich', Class Act: Melbourne Workers Theatre 1987-2007, Vulgar Press, Melbourne, Victoria 30-58 (2007) [B1]
2006 Schaefer KV, Watt DM, 'Nobbys, Newcastle. Place, History, Heritage, Identity and Performance', Unstable Ground: Performance and the Politics of Place, Peter Lang, Bern 125-148 (2006) [B1]
Show 1 more chapter

Journal article (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2007 Schaefer KV, Watt DM, 'Not going quietly: The Royal on the Move Procession. Place, history, memory and community-based performance', About Performance, 117-131 (2007) [C1]
2007 Watt DM, 'A Boal companion: Dialogues on theatre and cultural politics', Modern Drama, 50 98-102 (2007) [C3]
2007 Watt DM, 'Terry Lane The Full Round: the Several Lives and Theatrical Legacy of Stephen Joseph', New Theatre Quarterly, 23 430-431 (2007) [C3]
2005 Watt DM, 'Peter J. Wilson and Geoffrey Milne, 'The Space Between Us: The Art of Puppetry and Visual Theatre in Australia'', Australasian Drama Studies, 47 162-164 (2005) [C3]
2003 Watt DM, ''The Maker and the Tool': Charles Parker, Documentary Performance, and the Search for a Popular Culture', New Theatre Quarterly, 19 41-66 (2003) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S0266464X02000052
2002 Watt DM, 'Review of 'Performing Democracy: International Perspectives on Urban Community-Based Performance' ed. by Susan C Haedicke and Tobin Nellhaus', Australasian Journal Studies, 41 153-155 (2002) [C3]
2001 Pitts G, Watt DM, 'The Imaginary Conference', Artwork, Issue 50 7-14 (2001) [C1]
1998 Watt DM, 'Review of Maria DiCenzo, The Politics of Alternative Theatre in Britain', Essays in Theatre, 16 233-235 (1998) [C3]
Show 5 more journal articles

Review (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2000 Watt DM, 'J. Colleran & J. Spencer (eds.) Staging Resistance and R. Boon and J Plastow (eds.) Theatre Matters', Australasian Drama Studies (2000) [D1]

Conference (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2009 Watt DM, 'Arts ... health: Mind the gap', The 2nd ArtsHealth Conference Proceedings, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2008 Watt DM, Arrighi G, 'Performance and theatre in a regional centre', AusStage Symposium 2008. Program, Adelaide, SA (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Gillian Arrighi
2007 Watt DM, Mee KJ, Joyce B, Edwards E, 'Performing Windale(s): Performance-based community cultural development techniques enacting/enabling possible futures in public housing estates', International Symposium on Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation 2007. Abstracts, Sydney (2007) [E3]
2006 Watt D, 'Local Knowledges, Memories and Community: from Oral History to Performance Via Community Cultural Development', International Federation for Theatre Research, Finland (2006) [E3]
2005 Watt D, 'Citizens, Artists and the Sociality of Cultural Production in Community-Based Theatre', Citizens, Artists and the Sociality of Cultural Production in Community-Based Theatre, University of Maryland (2005) [E3]
2004 Filewood A, Watt D, 'Counter-Globalisation: The Banner/Ground Zero Collaborations', University of Reading (2004) [E3]
2001 Filewod A, Watt D, 'From Class to Cultural Community: Theatre and Labour in Australia', International Federation for Theatre Research conference, Sydney (2001) [E3]
Show 4 more conferences

Creative Work (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
1998 Watt DM, What's Left: Songs and Performance from the Great Depression, Department of Drama, The University of Newcastle, Drama Studio, The University of Newcastle (1998) [J2]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 25
Total funding $193,908

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20141 grants / $12,000

AusStage, Phase 5: Australian live performance and the world – global networks, national culture, aesthetic transmission$12,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Julian Meyrick, Dr Jonathan Bollen, Professor Julie Holledge, Professor John Roddick, Professor Joanne Tompkins, Professor Veronica Kelly, Dr Glenn D'Cruz, Associate Professor Maryrose Casey, Associate Professor Helena Grehan, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt, Dr Bree Hadley, Dr Sandra Gattenhof, Dr Margaret Hamilton, Dr Meg Mumford, Dr Bryoni Trezise, Professor Rachel Fensham, Associate Professor Denise Varney, Associate Professor Peter Eckersall, Professor Peta Tait, Dr Delyse Ryan, Ms Antonietta Morgillo, Professor Frode Helland, Mr Richard Stone, Mr Robert Brookman
Scheme Equipment Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1300499
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20131 grants / $20,000

AusStage, Phase 5: researching Australian live performance - global markets, national culture, aesthetic transmission and living archives$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Julie Holledge, Bollen, Jonathan, McGillivray, glen, Kiernander, Adrian, Carlin, David, D'Cruz, Glenn, Hassall, Nanette, Erskine, Shona, Tait, Peta, Milne, Geoffrey, Casey, Maryrose, Grehan, Helena, Hadley, Bree, Gattenhof, Sandra, Varney, Genise, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt, Mumford, Meg, Trezise, Bryoni, Tompkins, Joanne, Kelly, Veronica, Trenos, Helen, Hamilton, Margaret, Ryan, Delyse, Stephenson, Peter, O'Sullivan, Sandy, Morgan, Allan, Morgillo, Antonietta, Stone, Richard, Lush, shelley
Scheme Equipment Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1200135
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20101 grants / $24,000

AusStage Phase 4: Harnessing collective intelligence and pioneering new visual methodologies for innovative research into Australian live performance$24,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Professor Julie Holledge, Doctor Gillian Arrighi, Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000483
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

20081 grants / $20,000

Performing Windale(s): performance-based Community Cultural Development techniques enacting/enabling possible futures in public housing estates$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Doctor Kathleen Mee, Associate Professor Jenny Cameron
Scheme Near Miss Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0188401
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20072 grants / $15,735

AusStage: Gateway to Australian live performance, phase 3-enhancing collaborative research methodologies through digital networking technologies.$15,400

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo G0187393
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

International Symposium on Applied Theatre: Engagement and Transformation, University of Sydney, 11/10/2007 - 12/10/2007$335

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo G0188298
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20063 grants / $26,000

The Birabahn/Threkheld Project: Place, History, Memory and Performance in the Development of Sustainable Cultural Identities and Communities in Lake Macquarie$15,000

Funding body: Lake Macquarie City Council

Funding body Lake Macquarie City Council
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Mrs Deidre Heitmeyer, Dr Kerrie Schaefer
Scheme University Grant Partner funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo G0186787
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Local
Category 2OPL
UON Y

The Birabahn/Threlkeld project: place, history, memory and performance in the development of sustainable cultural identities and communities in Lake Macquarie$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Professor John Maynard
Scheme Collaborative Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo G0186115
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

International Federation for Theatre Research, 7-12 August 2006$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo G0186650
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20054 grants / $37,469

Moving the Royal - Framing the Memories$20,000

Funding body: Hunter New England Area Health Service

Funding body Hunter New England Area Health Service
Project Team Doctor Miranda Lawry, Conjoint Professor Anne Graham, Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme University Grant Partner funding
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0185423
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN
UON Y

Moving the Royal - Framing the Memories$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Miranda Lawry, Conjoint Professor Anne Graham, Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Collaborative Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0185422
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Visit of Prof Bruce McConachie, 15 June to 27 July 2005$5,069

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Visitor Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0184283
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Citizen Artists: Theatre, Culture adn Community: International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference, 26 June - 2 July 2005, USA$2,400

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0185187
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20042 grants / $7,280

Maitland Gaol/Peoples Histories: An investigation of performance as a technique for enlivening heritage sites with multivocal histories$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Dr Kerrie Schaefer
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183533
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Political Futures: Alternative Theatre in Britain Today, 16-18 April 2004, England$2,280

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183885
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20032 grants / $13,500

An Investigation of performance as a technique for enlivening heritage sites with multivocal histories: the case of Maitland Gaol$7,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0182367
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

AusStage: Austaralian Performing Arts Gateway phase two. Enhancement and information retrieval$6,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Linkage Infrastructure Equipment & Facilities (LIEF)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0183567
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

20011 grants / $4,153

Visit of Prof Barrie Kershaw from 8 July 2001 to 1 September 2001$4,153

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Visitor Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0180735
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20001 grants / $5,500

An Empirical Study of the Use of Theatre as a Tool for Community Development Amongst Factory Workers in Indonesia.$5,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt, Ms Rebecca Conroy, Associate Professor Phillip O'Neill, Doctor Tim Connor, Conal McKenna
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0178839
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19961 grants / $2,500

Alternative and community theatre documentation project: theatre produced in conjunction with the trade union movement 1985 to the present$2,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1996
Funding Finish 1996
GNo G0175707
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19951 grants / $227

Fourth Australasian Theatre Training Conference, Queensland, 7-10 June 1995$227

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1995
Funding Finish 1995
GNo G0176809
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19941 grants / $454

Third National Conference on Theatre Training (Annual Conference) Victoria College of the Arts, 20-22 October 1994$454

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1994
Funding Finish 1994
GNo G0175191
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19932 grants / $2,590

Alternative and Community Theatre Documentation Project$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1993
Funding Finish 1993
GNo G0172819
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

'Australasian Drama Studies Assoc. Int. Conf: Theatre & Social Change', Univ. of West. Aust, 29 Nov - 4 Dec 1993$590

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1993
Funding Finish 1993
GNo G0174430
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19921 grants / $2,500

Alternative & Community Theatre Documentation Project$2,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor David Watt
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1992
Funding Finish 1992
GNo G0174240
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed7
Current6

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.25

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2008 Masters Legacy in Applied Theatre
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007 PhD A case study of the Raymond Terrace Community Residents' Group Community Cultural Development project, 'Creating the Spirit' project
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2007 Honours A practice-as-research investigation of the theory and practice as acting
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2005 Honours Political theatre in Chile
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2003 Honours Maitland Gaol/People's Histories
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2002 Honours Gender, Race and the Ideologies of Elizabethan England in Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' and 'Macbeth'
Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Re-Politicising Cultural Democracy - Not Social Policy
Fine Arts, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2011 Masters Randai as a Contemporary Dramaturgy: Obstacles and Insights from an Intercultural Transposition
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2009 PhD Recovering the `Radical in Performance' Conscientização as a Model for Theatre-Making Amongst Event-Specific Popular Audiences CYCLE Productions' Bathurst 1000 Festival Project
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2007 Masters Catscans / Dogma: Creating New Music -Theatre
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2007 PhD Performing Resistance: Oppositional Performance Practices in Contemporary Indonesia
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2004 Masters The Neutral Mask: its position in Western actor training, and its application to the creative processes of the actor
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2002 PhD "Aid Travels with a Bomb": Sistren, Third World politics and the Seductiveness of Development Agency Funding
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
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Associate Professor David Watt

Position

Conjoint Associate Professor
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Drama

Contact Details

Email david.watt@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5003

Office

Room SRR204
Building Social Sciences
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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