counterspace for connection

counterspace for connection

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Composite at Bus Projects

35 Johnston Street

Collingwood, VIC 3066


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A reading, writing and solidarity-building workshop for First Nations, Black, Indigenous, women of colour in academia.

About this event

This workshop takes places on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We offer our deepest respect to their Ancestors and Elders past and present.

"We need space that is not designated as institutional space to be able to talk about the problems with and in institutions.” Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, Duke University Press, 2012, p.10.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a safe space for connection and solidarity-building between First Nations, Black, Indigenous, women* of colour whose current, or past work interfaces with higher educational institutions as students, administrative staff and faculty members and invites participants to engage in a discussion around the transformative possibilities of constructing communities in counterspaces that exist in parallel with mainstream institutions.

The workshop will begin with a shared reading of selected texts that have contributed to the critical discourse around embedded power dynamics and politics of exclusion within the academy, including: Aileen Moreton Robinson; Fred Moten; Gloria Anzaldúa; Julietta Singh; Linda Tuhiwai Smith; Sara Ahmed and Tatiana De La Tierra. All readings will be provided and there is no expectation to read the texts before the workshop. Excerpts will be read within the group for reflection and discussion. Participants are also invited to bring texts to the workshop that have sustained them through their journey in academia.

Following a series of shared readings, participants will be invited to contribute to the production of a collaborative document, intended as a guide with advice and strategies for survival in the academy drawing from the lived experiences of workshop participants. The guide will be printed and distributed along with the disorganising publication which will be launched in late July. disorganising is a project between West Space, Liquid Architecture and Bus Projects; an open and expanding conversation that looks to experiment with divergent ways of organising and creating. It is a practice of interdependence. disorganising is supported by Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Fund, City of Yarra Stimulate Fund and VicHealth Everyday Creativity Partnerships.

Participation is free and all materials will be provided. Registration required.

*We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who are female-identified.

Workshop Facilitators

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Torika Bolatagici, Dr Lutfiye Ali and Kelly Chan and is presented by the Community Reading Room (CRR). CRR is a pop-up destination for research, community discussion and engagement with ideas about art, culture and identity. Founded by Fijian-Australian artist and academic Torika Bolatagici in 2013, the CRR is an experimental discursive project that invites the public to consider how mainstream institutions and public collections privilege particular methodologies and ways of knowing. Each iteration of the CRR evolves from the previous installation and responds to the space in which it is located.

Accessibility Requirements

All handout materials will be available in accessible electronic format on request. If you have any other accessibility requirements in order to participate fully, please let us know, and the event organiser will contact you.

Wheelchair Accessibility

Bus Projects is wheelchair accessible via the main carriageway ramp from Johnston Street as well as elevator access to the UG floor via the 'art deco' entrance midway down the Johnston Street facade and also via the rear entrance beside the Keith Haring mural, which has a ramp and leads to the elevator.

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Bus Projects has all gender neutral bathrooms.

Accessible Parking/Dropoff Areas

If you are coming by car, there is accessible drop-off and pick up space at the side of building beside the Keith Haring mural. There are also accessible parking located in the carpark at the rear of our venue.

Public Transport

Bus Projects at Collingwood Yards is close to Stop 19 at the corner of Smith Street/Johnston Street on the 86 tram line. Only some Trams on this route are serviced by a mix of low floor and high floor trams. Read more at the PTV site here. The number 200 and 207 Bus' also stop directly over the road from Collingwood Yards.

Guide Dogs/Service Dogs

Guide dogs and service dogs are welcome at Bus Projects.

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