Refuge Favorite 


Jul 1 2016


Melbourne, Australia

Refuge is a 5 year transdisciplinary project that brings together artists, community members and emergency services to investigate arts and culture’s role in developing preparedness and building community resilience for climate related disasters.

Arts and culture’s contribution to the disaster recovery process is globally recognised however, Refuge’s premise is different. Through an interdisciplinary approach artists, service providers and the community work together to rehearse climate related emergencies - exploring the impact of creativity in specifically building preparedness through a longitudinal action-research project, led by experimental contemporary artists.

Arts House is located in the North Melbourne Town Hall, one of City of Melbourne’s designated metropolitan Relief Centre’s. In July 2016, Arts House successfully launched the pilot iteration of Refuge with a 24hr artist-led emergency management exercise. We commissioned six artists to look at a service provision within the Relief Centre - sleep, wellbeing, food, communications & energy and to deliver projects over 24hrs. Through an interdisciplinary approach these artists engaged the public and locals in an experimental, multi-sensory rehearsal.

Following on from 2016, Refuge 2017 will be held in November and will respond to a prolonged heat-related scenario in Melbourne. This will again be led by artists with emergency services, local community members and also in collaboration with the regional community of Natimuk.

Between 2017 – 2020 Refuge will evolve to inclue local and regional partners as well as an additional international partner that will examine the climactic impact on communities in the Pacific Region through cultural exchanges.

Refuge is about social and community resilience and valuing an artistic approach to complex issues. Refuge propels a growing cohort of artists into leading edge innovators of creative preparedness This project is key to Arts House's commitment to explore responses to climate justice, engage deeply with local communities and present innovative and experimental art.

Refuge 2016 Artists included: Lee Shang Lun, Hannah Donnelley, Latai Taumoepeau, Kate Sulan, Jen Rae and Dawn Weleski.

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