In this year’s Interdisciplinary Forum, we consider spaces, systems and experiences of CARE.
CARE brings academic expertise, lived experience and artists’ perspectives together for an engaging day of presentation and discussion. Questions of care, or lack thereof, are an urgent focus of the present moment. How do we consider individual, societal, environmental, or institutional systems of care?
Curā, Latin for care, is the etymological origin of ‘curating’ and the basis of western modes of museum practice. This is perhaps most evident in the care of collections, yet curatorial care also extends to care for our artists, participants and the broader communities implicated in creative practice. How we care for artists cuts to the heart of our societal ideals. Outside the sector, the question of adequate care goes to the heart of basic human rights, equity and freedoms — how they are valued and enacted and how that care is accessed, experienced or denied.
Across three dynamic sessions, we’ll traverse understandings and networks of care in diverse contexts including health, the environment and food security.
10am – 10.15am
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND WELCOME
10.15am – 11.15am SESSION ONE: CURĀ
CHAIR: Dr Ryan Jefferies, Associate Director, Science and Academic Programs, University Museums and Collections
James Nguyen, artist and filmmaker & Victoria Pham, composer, archaeologist and artist | Destruction as Conservation
Jo Caust, Principal Fellow (Hon), School of Culture and Communication | Valuing artists and Arts Practice
Tania Cañas, Artistic lead and co-Director, Arts Gen; Coordinator and Lecturer, Performance and Community Engagement, Victorian College of the Arts & Priya Pavri, independent curator and co-Director, Arts Gen | Arts and Health: an Arts Gen approach to care
11.15am – 11.30am MORNING TEA
11.30am – 12.30pm SESSION TWO: SPACES OF CARE
CHAIR: Claire Loughnan, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Political and Social Sciences
Cath Chamberlain, Professor of Indigenous Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health | Replanting the Birthing Trees: recreating sacred places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies to be born
Sara Guest, Associate Lecturer in Geography, Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences | From the everyday to the institution: questions of care in the life of food insecure university students
Indigo Daya, Survivor activist, artist and academic | Russian dolls and epistemic crypts: Reflections of a trauma survivor about violence in psychiatric ‘care’
CHAIR: Rose Hiscock, Director, University Museums and Collections
Nicholas Hill, McKenzie Fellow, School of Political and Social Sciences and Manu Kailom, asylum seeker, community development worker and advocate | Inclusive LGBTIQA+ Mental Health Care: The need for caring partnerships
Tania King, Senior Research Fellow in Social Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health | Young carers: unknown and unrecognised
Kathryn Williams, Professor of Environmental Psychology, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences | Connection, care and the natural world
2.15pm – 2.30pm AFTERNOON TEA
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
James Nguyen, artist and filmmaker
James Nguyen is an Australian artist and filmmaker based in Melbourne. He has been commissioned by institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Contemporary Art for The National: New Australian Art 2019, and others. A past recipient of the Maddocks Art Prize and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, James has had the opportunity to develop projects and work collaboratively on experimental documentary, research and curatorial exchanges in New York City, Europe and the Asia Pacific. IG @jamesnguyens → jamesnguyens.com → dongsonarchive.com →
Victoria Pham, composer, archaeologist and artist
Victoria Pham is an Australian composer, archaeologist and artist based between Sydney, Paris and London, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. She has been commissioned by institutions such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House and Maitland Regional Art Gallery and has featured in and produced segments of festivals from VIVID to Newcastle Writers Festival. She is the co-artistic director of sound-art collective Sonant Bodies and an archaeologist specialising in archaeoacoustics. IG @victoriaavpham → victoriaavpham.com →
Jo Caust, Principal Fellow (Hon), School of Culture and Communication
Associate Professor Josephine Caust PhD is Principal Fellow (Hon) at the University of Melbourne. She has published several books and monographs including Governments and the Arts in Australia (Routledge forthcoming 2023), Arts, Culture, Country (Currency Press 2022), Arts Leadership in Contemporary Contexts (Routledge 2018), Arts and Cultural Leadership in Asia (Routledge 2015) and Arts Leadership: International Case Studies (Tilde University Press 2013). She is also the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters and online commentary about the arts. Dr Caust previously worked in the arts sector as a theatre practitioner, manager, consultant, and senior bureaucrat.
Tania Cañas, Artistic lead at Arts Gen and Coordinator and Lecturer Performance and Community Engagement lecturer, Victorian College of the Arts
Dr. Tania Cañas is an artist-researcher based on unceded Kulin Territory. Her work looks at socially engaged and community-led creative practices as sites of collaboration, modalities of resistance, as well as ways to rethink processes and recast institutions. She is the artistic lead at Arts Gen, a community arts and health organization, and the Coordinator and Lecturer, Performance and Community Engagement at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. taniacanas.com →
Priya Pavri, independent curator and co-Director, Arts Gen
Priya Pavri is an independent curator currently based on the unceded land of the Kulin Nations. She has a history of growing community projects and organisations through unique and creative endeavours and is committed to seeking alternative models of working with community that challenge existing leadership and governance structures. Informed by a background in Law and Arts, she has led community projects in the not- for- profit and government sector in urban and remote Australia, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Priya is currently co-director of Arts Gen and board member of Bus Projects and ActNow Theatre.
Cath Chamberlain, Professor of Indigenous Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Professor Catherine Chamberlain is a Palawa woman of the Trawlwoolway clan (Tasmania), NHMRC Fellow and Professor of Indigenous Health at the Indigenous Health Equity Unit, The University of Melbourne. A Registered Midwife and Public Health researcher, her research aims to identify perinatal opportunities to improve health equity across the life course. She is currently Principal Investigator for large multi-disciplinary projects, including Healing the past by nurturing the future, which aims to co-design support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents experiencing complex trauma; and Replanting the Birthing Trees, which aims to transform compounding cycles of intergenerational trauma and harm.
Sara Guest, Associate Lecturer in Geography, Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Sara Guest is a Geography PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Her work explores the everyday experiences of food insecure university students in Melbourne through the lens of inequality and difference. She’s also part of a research team that’s thinking more broadly about the relationship between food, institutions, and higher education. Outside of studies, Sara is a member of the student led Just Food Collective and a keen supporter of the Right to Food movement.
Indigo Daya, Survivor activist, artist and academic
Indigo Daya is a mad survivor activist, artist and academic. She draws on her lived experience of madness, child abuse, years of coercive psychiatric admissions, and eventually healing outside mainstream services. Indigo has worked with the survivor community and mental health system for over seventeen years, including senior roles in advocacy, public policy, reform, education and peer-delivered programs. She’s passionate about reconceptualising ‘mental illness’ as a meaningful response to being human in a world filled with trauma, inequity, hate, violence, injustice and climate crisis, and working towards a future where anti-oppressive, creative and non-pathologising approaches can enable collective healing. TW @indigodaya → IG @indigo.mad.art → indigodaya.com →
Nicholas Hill, McKenzie Fellow, School of Political and Social Sciences
Dr Nicholas Hill is a McKenzie Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts. He specialises in LGBTIQA+ mental health research conducted in partnership with community organisations and representatives. Nicholas is currently working on Improving LGBTIQA+ Mental Health: Co-creating Inclusive Health and Social Care project.
Manu Kailom, asylum seeker, community development worker and advocate
Manu Kailom (he/they) is an asylum seeker and a community development worker and advocate for LGBTQIA+ Refugee and Asylum Seekers. They are the Peer Support and Community Development Officer with Three for All Foundation, a not-for-profit International Development Organisation working with LGBTQIA+ refugee populations internationally as well as in Australia.
Tania King, Senior Research Fellow in Social Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Dr Tania King is a social epidemiologist who uses causally focussed quantitative social science methods to understand social and structural determinants of health inequities across the life-course. Specific focusses of her work include: 1) gender equality and norms as determinants of health outcomes; 2) the distribution of caring and paid work across society; 3) mental health and suicide. Tania currently holds a University of Melbourne Dame Kate Campbell Fellowship and an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award focussed on the lives and trajectories of carers. TW @TaniaLKing →
Kathryn Williams, Prof (Environmental Psychology) Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
Kathryn Williams is Professor of Environmental Psychology in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys exploring how people feel, think and act toward plants, animals and the places we live in – and what this means for conservation and well-being. She explores this in the context of forests, bushfire and the nature of our cities. TW @kathjhw →
About Interdisciplinary Forums
The Ian Potter Museum of Art Interdisciplinary Forum is an ongoing, annual series presented by The University of Melbourne’s Museums and Collections Department. Each Forum seeks to address pressing themes of our time, and features academic researchers from across the University of Melbourne, alongside contributions by creative practitioners, proposing art-making as a form of knowledge creation alongside other academic fields of inquiry. Previous Forums have explored the themes of WATER, LANGUAGE, MACHINE and CONSENT.
The Potter acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work and create. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.