What's On

First Assembly of the Centre for Reworlding

Jen Rae in collaboration with Claire G. Coleman

Presented in Season 1 2021

Commissioned by Arts House for Refuge 2021

Refugium, a 20-minute video work by Jen Rae and Claire G. Coleman screen at this event is now available to watch on demand.

Click here to experience REFUGIUM

Tue 27 April, 7pm


Duration: 2 hours

North Melbourne Town Hall

This event is suitable for 15 years + with parent of guardian.

For Blaktix – email Kalyani.Mumtaz


This event involves profanity and discussing the climate emergency, apocalypse, euthanasia, gender violence, suicide and filicide, and might be distressing to some people.


disability access symbol wheelchair black disability access symbol signing black

Wheelchair accessible

Auslan interpreted

It’s 2042 and Claire is past her use-by date. She knows apocalypse and doesn’t want another groundhog day.

In this call from the future, artists Jen Rae and Claire G. Coleman hack time to share warnings and stories of refugium.

Set within the disaster shelters constructed for this year’s Refuge project Shelter2Camp, this speculative and provocative video transmission will open out into a participatory palaver event involving the audience at Arts House.

Digging into moral dilemmas of life and death, First Assembly of the Centre for Reworlding focuses on the importance of child-centred trauma prevention in the face of coming collapse. Bring your ideas to this conversation.

“Centred on First Nations knowledge and protocols, First Assembly of the Centre for Reworlding hacks time and compounding existential crises, delves into moral dilemmas of life and death and hones in on child-centred trauma prevention in the coming collapse. What are the conversations that we aren’t having now that might aid us, our loved ones and our future ancestors? What are we willing to give up and/or fight for in the greatest challenge facing humanity.”Jen Rae, 2021.


About Jen Rae

Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne)-based artist-researcher of Canadian Red River Métis-Scottish descent from Treaty 6 Territory. Her 16-year practice-led research expertise is centred around cultural responses to the climate emergency, specifically the role of artists and discourses around food justice, disaster preparedness and speculative futures.

About Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia. Born in Perth she currently resides in the hills of Naarm (Melbourne). Her debut novel Terra Nullius, published in Australia and in the US, won a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Aurealis Science Fiction Award among others. Her second novel is The Old Lie [2019]. She writes essay, verse and fiction unpacking the effect of colonisation on Indigenous lives.

Artistic Credits

Portage Lead Artist - Jen Rae; Producer - Naomi Velaphi; First Assembly Lead Artists - Jen Rae and Claire G. Coleman; Dramaturg - Kamarra Bell-Wykes; Video - Devika Bilimoria; Sound- Marco Cher-Gibard; Moderator - Alex Kelly; Production Manager - Dans Maree Sheehan

Supported by – This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Arts House is a key program of the City of Melbourne, and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Image – by Anu Kumar.