How should cultural spaces respond to catastrophic emergencies? How can we ensure that we and our communities are prepared, and that we understand and fulfil our role as a local resource? What role should the arts, and artists, play in planning for such events?
Central to the Performing Climates program is Refuge: a research–action event in which artists and disaster management professionals work with the North Melbourne community to devise responses to a climactic disaster. It configures North Melbourne Town Hall, home of Arts House, as a place of community refuge.
At a time when communities around the world are affected by unprecedented natural and human-induced disasters, and as we stare the long emergency of climate change in the face, a conversation around preparedness, resilience and recovery could not be more pertinent. From wildfires to hurricanes to rising sea levels, the future looks increasingly uncertain.
Involving artists in the months leading up to Performing Climates, as well as a range of disaster management services and organisations across the city, Refuge is both a rehearsal in preparedness and a shoring-up of our all important connections.
Latai Taumoepeau, Kate Sulan, Hannah Donnelly,
Lee Shang Lun, Dawn Weleski and Jen Rae
Image by – Randall Hill