What role can the arts and creativity play in navigating unresolved concerns, ongoing debates and controversial questions for our communities?

Exploring complex topics, from reconciliation and truth-telling in the context of colonialism to polarising social or political issues, this symposium will feature exchanges between leading artists and researchers from Australia and Northern Ireland about difficult conversations we, as a globally connected society, need to have today.

The conversations

The Bullock at the Mudhole

Paul Collis, Jen Crawford, Wayne Knight, Story Ground Collective
Barkindji Country & Ngemba Country: Gundabooka, Toorale Station, Bourke, Brewarrina

University of Canberra

Difficult Stories: Creativity, Curation, Culture

Ursula K. Frederick in conversation with Steve Brown, Ashley Harrison, Wendy Somerville, Bethaney Turner

University of Canberra

Sarah Travers in Conversation with Performance Artists

Some of Northern Ireland’s leading performance artists since the 1970s discuss the role of the artist in conflicted public spaces, navigating subjects including violence against women, political conflict, clerical sexual abuse and our relationship with power.

Ulster University

Colin Davidson – Silent Testimony: An Introduction

Colin Davidson introduces his exhibition ‘Silent Testimony’ at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, setting the context and inspiration behind the series of portraits of victims and survivors of ‘The Troubles.’

Ulster University

A Reading of Selected Poems by Kathleen McCracken

A reading of selected works exploring issues relating to First Nations experiences in Canada, in particular, violence perpetrated against indigenous women and the complexities of being an artistic ally to indigenous rights.

Ulster University

Revelation, Reckoning, and Recovery

Continuing the critical conversations around child sexual abuse in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RCICSA, 2013-17).

University of Canberra

UC acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, traditional custodians of the lands where the Bruce campus is situated.

We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of Canberra and the region.

We also acknowledge all other First Nations Peoples on whose lands we gather.