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Refuge 2018: Pandemic

Presented in Season 2 2018

Presented by Arts House

Wed 29 Aug – Sat 1 Sep

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne


Wheelchair accessible
Audio Description and Auslan Interpreters available in the building throughout the day- (various artworks and activities)
11am–4pm, Sat 1 Sep


Show program:
PDF version
Word version

Extreme heat, rising sea levels, forced migration, increased spread of diseases, social unrest, extinctions – climate catastrophe is here. Refuge is now in year three of a five-year project that examines potential climate-related disasters and traces how we might collectively respond.

Refuge 2018: Pandemic explores the health impacts of climate change: epidemics, grief, stigma, and anxieties invoked by the language of disease. In nightmares, and in histories past and present – including those of colonisation and genocide – pandemics have brought unspeakable disaster on communities. Our bodies, and those of our loved ones, are our most valued possessions. Pandemics and epidemics challenge us to understand our corporeality, fears and taboos; and teach us the necessity of ritual.

Refuge’s offering is radical and full of compassion. How can we write ourselves into some of the scariest scenarios imaginable? We owe this thinking to our communities, and we need to find as many ways as possible to prepare. Over four busy days that include public forums, games, conversations and artistic works, join us at Refuge 2018: Pandemic at the North Melbourne Town Hall for real information and real science, as we get real creative in our readiness for what the future may hold.

“Climate change is altering the environment in ways that increase the potential for viruses.”
— Maryn McKenna, New York Times

Presented by Arts House

Wed 29 Aug – Sat 1 Sep

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Artists & projects include:
Isolate and Contain! Mapping the Pandemic – Lee Shang Lun
Hypothetical: What If?– Michele Lee
Supper Club: Sanatorium– Lizzy Sampson & Asha Bee Abraham
We Contain Multitudes – Madeleine Flynn & Tim Humphrey, with Live Umbrella Finland

OutbreakLee Shang Lun with PlayReactive
In Case of… – Kate Sulan, with students from St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre
Ruth Crow Corner– Lorna Hannan
Tiddafly – Ellen van Neerven
Apitherapy Quarantine– Jen Rae, Fair Share Fare
Practising for a Disaster – with Australian Red Cross

Supported by – Refuge 2018: Pandemic is supported with funding provided by the Australian Government in partnership with the States and Territories under the National Partnership Agreement for National Disaster Resilience; the Victorian Government through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS); the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts and funding and advisory body; Creative Learning Partnerships – a Victorian government initiative; the University of Melbourne; the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute); Creative Recovery Network; Resilient Melbourne; Australian Red Cross; SES Footscray Division; St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre; North Melbourne Language and Learning; Melbourne General Cemetery, through Southern Metro Cemeteries Trust and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image by – Sarah Walker