The Feral Queer Camp, at its most simple, involves pulling together a “gaggle”, a group or gang, of queer people who are interested in performance – this could be theatre makers, audience members, writers – and just travelling together through a series of performances, so that we can build a vocabulary for talking about the works together.
The lockdown that occurred as a result of COVID-19 from March 20, 2020 saw higher music education institutions grappling with how to adapt to teaching in an online context. From the perspective of a performance-based music institution, one year on, this article re-evaluates the challenges relating to embodied peer learning most evident in ensemble classes.
Two dancers face each other two metres apart in a bare studio. Drawing arcs in the air between them with deft counterweighted movement, their mirrored gestures trigger strings of words: “White matter … things to infer … spectral hearing … brain has to save you.” An echolalia or a mashup of phrases representing mental spaces: words and movements cohere and collide in moments of dissonance and convergence.
In 2019, nearly 500 women over fifty participated in a photography event called 500 Strong. Photographer Ponch Hawkes photographed these women posing nude in studio spaces in Melbourne and in Victorian regional towns … to fashion a dialogue about women’s bodies that avoided the clichés of decline and loss, but as an artistic challenge to reimagine ageing representation.
It is well-known musicians enjoy their art form because it blends challenge and satisfaction: playing with a high-level of motor and musical refinement, while facilitating important self-to-other transactions linked to social cohesion, and implicit and explicit wellbeing outcomes. In the early months of 2020, the world went into a self-imposed lock down in response to Coronavirus, and many musicians watched as their whole performance calendars disappear overnight.
Co-design is a robust collaborative approach to design practices and processes that invites participation from multiple stakeholders in shaping and responding to collectively identified problems or issues.
The Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative (CAWRI) was established in 2019 by a group of senior researchers from seven of the University of Melbourne’s ten faculties to build capacity and foster inter- and cross-disciplinary research collaborations focusing on creativity and wellbeing.
As the articles in this issue of NiTRO reveal, active engagement in creative arts can produce a raft of strong wellbeing benefits that while punctuating lived experience can bind us together, generate transferable physical and mental wellbeing benefits, and assist in regulating, coordinating and/or recovering physical and psychological skills and behaviours.
Australia is now entering into a “second convict age”. This was the bold assertion made by Federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh in his recent report on the rising rates of incarceration in Australia. Currently more than 10.74 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, and since 2000 the world prison population has grown by almost 24%.
Those of us who work in higher education will be aware of two broad facets in relation to wellbeing at work: That institutions are in some manner concerned about, it and that our workplaces and cultures are not always particularly good for wellbeing.
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