Commissioned by Arts House for Refuge 2021
Launches online Wed 21 April
Listen to this work on your personal device with headphones or read the essay on our website.
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Duration: 15 minutes
Step out of the time shallows and into the deep-water memory of Boonwurrung Country.
Developed in collaboration with Boonwurrung Elder N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs, Watershed is an essay and audio recording that delves into the deep history of Melbourne’s waterways.
This is not the first time this land has faced a climate crisis, and Watershed is an illuminating exploration of the resilience of Country and the meaning of change. From continental drift to the natural flooding of Nairm/Port Phillip Bay, explore the deep time perspective of Indigenous climate memory.
Boonwurrung words and history from ‘The Journey Cycles of the Boonwurrung’ by N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs. Permission to share and discuss Boonwurrung cultural heritage granted by N’arwee’t Carolyn Briggs.
“My research into Indigenous climate memory has impacted the way I perceive time, space and memory. To engage with deep time and deep memory is to embrace a bifocal, prismatic experience of the world, where ripples of the past lengthen and reverberate throughout the present and into the future. I find great comfort and inspiration in knowing how resilient land, water, animals, plants and people have been in previous climate change events. However the colony continually seeks to sever our connections with the past, forcing deep forgetting on us so that the violence of invasion might be buried. This traps everyone in the anxious present, forcing the status quo’s neurotic fatalism in the face of climate change on us all. My writing sinks us back into the deep narratives of place to reconnect with the resilient power of Country in the face of adversity. “ – Cass Lynch, 2021.
About Cassie Lynch
About Theo McMahon
Supported by – Arts House is a key program of the City of Melbourne, and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Image – by Sarah Rowbottam.