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HomeClimate Art and Digital Activisms Festival of Ideas 2022

Climate Art and Digital Activisms Festival of Ideas 2022

The Climate, Art, and Digital Activisms Festival of Ideas (Melbourne/Narrm 21-23 November) is a free event bringing together local community members, interdisciplinary artists, scientists and educators in Melbourne for a unique conversation.

The urgency of the climate crisis will bring world media, activists, politicians, policy-makers, scientists and educators together for @COP27 in November 2022. Yet many people at home and in the local community don’t get to participate in these talks. We are often told what to think about climate change and the threat of ecological collapse, but don’t often get a chance to explore how we can take shared action for better futures.

We think everyone has a role to play in thinking about and acting on climate change, no single group of people or technological advancement is going to save us. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, we now, more than ever, need to have conversations across generations, communities and institutional boundaries to create solutions together.

The Climate, Art, and Digital Activisms Festival of Ideas is inviting diverse audiences and organisations wanting to be a part of creating a just and sustainable future. We are flipping the script by opening up the conversation to local community members, interdisciplinary artists, scientists and educators. The Festival program is designed to create meaningful opportunities to contribute, connect and create community to meet the challenges we face.

The festival is made possible by a University of Melbourne Dyason Fellowship* and competitive SIG funding from Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)**

Register for MelbourneRegister for Adelaide  


MELBOURNE : 21-23 NOV 2022

Location: studioFive, Level 5 Kwong Lee Dow Building 234 Queensberry St, Parkville (Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne). Co-convenors: Kathryn Coleman, Peter Cook, Brad Gobby, Sarah Healy and George Variyan. 

Program Day 1. Monday 21 November

8.15am Registration at studioFive for in-person participants | *Online participants have received zoom links via email*
8.45am Opening remarks by Rose Hiscock, Director of Museums and Collections 

Act 1

9.15am Slackers, vegans or skilled communicatorsA view of youth (digital) activism from Central Europe' Dr Annamaria Neag, Dyason Fellow from Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), leader of ‘Digital Activism – Children and Youth Civic Engagement in a Globalised World’ project in Europe

9.45am 'Young people’s artistic and digital climate justice activisms: A conversation' Dr Eve Mayes, Deakin University, Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Deakin University (Research for Educational Impact). Eve is currently undertaking the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Fellowship (DECRA) project: Striking Voices: Australian school-aged climate justice activism. Eve is joined by co-researchers Natasha Abhayawickrama, Sophie Chiew, Netta Maiava, and Dani Villafaña 

10.15am Join the Conversation

Act 2 

10.45am Creating Spaces for Radical Participation in Climate Action and Ecological Research: how to co-create resilience strategies through creative practice Dr Suzie Fraser, an art historian specialising in community resilience, environment and new media areas of practice. She is currently Coordinator of the Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at the University of Melbourne, leading the Art + Ecology Residency at the University's Dookie Campus and Creativity and Community Resilience Studio in partnerships with the Victoria Drought Hub

12.30pm Light lunch (provided)

Act 3

1.45pm Curated Pecha Kucha session with Q&A facilitated by discussant, Associate Professor Peter Cook

Act 4

3.15pm What does it mean to be post-human in relation to technology? Professor Paul Loh, LLDS Architects LLDS - LLDS and Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University will speak about Waste, Technology and Art. We already lived in a post-human environment that is AI-assisted, Instagram-obsessed, phygitally-blended, NFT-invested and metaverse-immersed. Our bodies are situated both in the digital and the physical space, consuming and producing more waste than ever. How can our relationship with technology be a productive one? This presentation looks at the cross-disciplinary design research projects by Dr Paul Loh, Professor of Architecture and a practising architect, that address the issue of waste using novel construction technology and an art project exploring human-machine interaction in collaboration with Stelarc. The discussion reflects on what it means to be post-human in relation to Technology.  

3.45pm Where to from here? A question for wondering and wandering. Dr Abbey MacDonald, who works in, between and across discipline, cultural and education settings locally, nationally and internationally. Abbey partners with environmental conservation and social change organisations, teachers, artists, scientists and education technologists to investigate and develop strategies and practical tools to tackle the most pressing challenges facing educators today, locally nationally and globally. Abbey is President of Art Education Australia.

4.15pm Radical Participation

Program Day 2. Tuesday 22 November

8.30am Registration
8.45am Opening remarks by Professor Marcia McKenzie, who is Professor in Global Studies and International Education at MGSE and Co-lead of the Climate Communication and Education Research Program at Melbourne Climate Futures, University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists; and Director of the $4.5M Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project (www.mecce.ca). Her research and supervision areas include comparative and international education, global education policy research, and climate and sustainability education, including in relation to place, mobilities, affect theory, and digital media. 
Act 5

9.15am Reworlding in the everywhen REFUGIUM (2021) film screening and Centre for Reworlding participatory palaver with Dr Jen Rae, Claire G. Coleman and Angharad Wynne-Jones 

It is the end of the world as we know it. Every beginning is an ending with a backstory, a right now, the unimaginable, the inevitable and the beyond of what might be possible. The ending teaches us where to start. Reworlding imagines a world that could have been – before colonial disruption – as our beginning – to decouple from maladaptive ways of engaging/disengaging with the climate emergency context. To reworld is to decolonise, Indigenise and collectively imagine into action a “world worthy of its children”i for the sake of all our future ancestors.

Refugium is an award-winning short film of speculative fiction, by Jen Rae and Claire G. Coleman. Centred on First Nations knowledge and protocols, Refugium hacks time and compounding existential crises, delves into moral dilemmas of life and death and hones in on child-centered trauma prevention and intergenerational justice in the coming collapse. Following the screening, Jen and Claire will guide a participatory palaver guided by Centre for Reworlding protocols.

*Warnings* - Contains profanity and discussion on the climate emergency, colonial trauma, apocalypse, euthanasia, gender violence, suicide and filicide, and might be distressing to some people.

Dr Jen Rae is an award winning artist-researcher of Canadian Métis-Scottish descent living on unceded Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Central Victoria. Her practiceled research expertise intersects art, disaster risk reduction and creative resilience within the climate emergency context. Jen leads creative research activities at the Centre for Reworlding. www.jenraeis.com

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia and is currently based in Naarm. Her debut novel Terra Nullius [2017], won a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and an Aurealis Award. Her second novel is The Old Lie [2019], followed by Lies, Damn Lies [2021], winning the 2022 University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award. Her new book Enclave was released in July 2022. Claire is the lead writer at Centre for Reworlding. www.clairegcoleman.com

Angharad Wynne-Jones is Cymry (Welsh)/Australian and lives on the unceded lands of the Kulin Nation in Narrm (Melbourne). She is currently Head of Audience Engagement at the State Library Victoria. Previously she has been Head of Creative Engagement at Arts Centre Melbourne and Artistic Director at Arts House, City of Melbourne, where she initiated Refuge- a multi year creative enquiry looking at our responses to climate catastrophes. She was also Founder Director of TippingPoint Australia. Angaharad leads creative strategy development at the Centre for Reworlding.

Act 6

10.45am 'Auditing the ecomateriality of digital childhoods' Dr Luci Pangrazio, Chief Investigator in the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child and a senior lecturer at Deakin University. Her research focuses on datafication in the home and school, the politics of digital platforms, and young people’s critical understandings of digital media. Recent books include Learning to Live with Datafication (2022, Routledge) and Young People’s Literacies in the Digital Age (2019, Routledge). 

11.15am Fireside chat with Seb Chan, Director & CEO at ACMI in Melbourne, Dr Luci Pangrazio and Dr Kathryn Coleman

12pm Lunch (provided)
Act 7


1.45pm 'Materiality and planetarity: two artists' Dr Danny Butt, Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Practice at the Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne. He is the author of Artistic Research in the Future Academy (2017)

2.15pm 'Global Educational Discourses, the good life and the climate crisis: searching for alternatives' Dr Jason Beech, Senior Lecturer in Education Policy at Monash University and holds a UNESCO Chair in Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires. 

Act 8


2.45pm 'Hot and Bothered' Dr Ryan Jefferies, Associate Director, Science and Academic Programs, Department of Museums and Collections at The University of Melbourne and Creative Director at Science Gallery Melbourne 

3.45pm Radical Participation

4.15pm Visit to SWARM Exhibition at Science Gallery Melbourne

Program Day 3 Wednesday 23 November

8.45am Registration
Act 9

9.00am 'Acting Like Our House Is On Fire', Dr Lara Stevensauthor of Anti-War Theatre After Brecht (2016), editor and translator of Politics, Ethics and Performance: Hélène Cixous and the Théâtre du Soleil (2016), and co-editor of Feminist Ecologies (2018) with Peta Tait and Denise Varney.She is currently a Research Associate in the Discovery Project ‘Towards an Australian Ecological Theatre’ where she looks at how the performing arts is responding to the climate emergency. 

9.30am 'Creative activism and storying the climate crisis' Linh Do, Director of The Wattle Fellowship, University of Melbourne

Act 10

10.30am Dance Activism workshop, Associate Professor Peter Cook, Deputy Head of School (Education) USQ  

12pm Lunch (provided)
Act 11

1.45pm A colonial crisis of imagination and climate change: accessing literature’s speculative potential for imagining different futures, Dr Sarah E. TrumanSenior Lecturer at The University of Melbourne and co-director of the Literary Education Lab. From 2022-2025 Dr. Truman is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow whose project focuses on youth cultural productions (science fiction) in mining and metropolitan communities in three commonwealth countries 

2.15pm Scale Poetics: Crisis, Data & the Arts Dr Tyne Sumner, ARC Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication. Her research examines the relationship between literature and surveillance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus on the representation of surveillance in poetic texts. She also works in the digital humanities in the areas of cultural data, digital ethics and critical infrastructure studies

Act 12

3.15pm Curated Pecha Kucha session (incl Q&A) followed by an interactive workshop AIM (art in motion) Speaking back/making forward facilitated by Dr Geraldine Burke

What does climate action look like to us, now that we have heard each other speak?

What now, right now?

How can we speak back, speak out, and propel the energy of our learnings and ideas forward?

How/Can we take AIM (art-in-motion) and move forward, to make some kind of action, difference, or agitation?

This session speaks back to and draws inspiration from the Climate Fest while calling on the likes of Bruno Latour, Behrouz Boochani, Barbara Bickel/Michael Fisher, Julia Gillard and the man-made cloud forest in Singapore. At the same time, the session moves forward with in-situ, in-the-moment, creative co-operations between participants. It takes AIM (art in motion) as an opportunity to create future resonance/matterings about climate action.

Working with digital, analogue and/or element-based processes participants will choose from a range of options to make in-situ and in-the-moment AIMs together. Through spoken word, soundscape, digitally animated drawings or element-based artworks, participants will make, record and document their work. Each group will forge a spirit of cooperation so that confidence and experience with arts forms and digital processes can be built together for productive output. Group AIMs will be shared between workshop participants and documented as a resource to prompt future provocations and evocations about climate action. 


Closing Keynote: What research do we need to do to transform education for our climate futures? Professor Larissa McLean Davies is committed to research and policy advocacy which conceives teacher education across the whole career-span. Larissa's work addresses pressing issues regarding the way teachers’ knowledge is developed, tested and expanded in diverse institutional, geographical and social contexts.leadsinterdisciplinary scholarship about teacher knowledge and resourcing with a specific focus on literacy. She is the co-convenor of the Literary Education Lab, where she leads research which draws together researchers from the digital and environmental humanities, literary studies and education around core issues related to teacher professional learning in the context of justice and sustainability imperatives. Professor McLean Davies leads large-scale Teacher Education research which mobilises partnerships with Government agencies, Education Departments, and not-for-profit organisations. Her mission is to convene interdisciplinary, translational research that is taken up by education systems internationally and has long-term impact on students’ learning and opportunities.


Location: GK4-30 University of South Australia, City West Campus 61-68 North Terrace Adelaide, SA 5000. Co-convenors: Kathryn Coleman, Peter Cook, Brad Gobby, Sarah Healy and George Variyan. 

Program Day 4. Sunday 27 November

10.00am Registration
10.30am Welcome and opening address, Dr Sarah Healy Post-Doctoral Fellow University of Melbourne
11.00am Welcome to the metaverse: What happened in Melbourne? Dr Kathryn Coleman and Festival of Ideas 'artist-in-residence' Neda Sajadi. 
11.30am Dyason Keynote: Will academia listen to young climate activists? – A view from Central Europe Dr Annamaria Neag from Charles University (Prague), leading the ‘Digital Activism – Children and Youth Civic Engagement in a Globalised World’ project in Europe will present with young activists from Central Europe (includes Q and A)
12.30pm Lunch (provided) and meme party
1.15pm A/Prof Peter Cook will lead an interactive workshop
2.30pm InterSIG connections and ideas for AARE activisms
Workshop participants attending AARE 2022 will move to the WELCOME RECEPTION. Time: 5:00pm (AEDT) Location: National Wine Centre of Australia (Corner of Hackney Road &, Botanic Street, Adelaide)
Social Media:
  • Feel free to tweet, toot, or post about the festival and tag us in @coSWISP (but remember not to share the padlet/zoom links). 
  • Follow us for real-time updates on Twitter @coSWISP

Got questions? Contact a Climate Art and Digital Activism Festival of Ideas Co-convenor: Kathryn Coleman, Peter Cook, Brad Gobby, Sarah Healy and George Variyan. 


*Dyason Fellowship: Thomas CochraneKathryn Coleman, Sarah Healy, Annamaria Neag, Lara Stevens, Tyne Sumner, Andrew Siebel

**SIG funding from Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE): Kathryn Coleman, Peter Cook, Brad Gobby, Sarah Healy and George Variyan.