BFU presents: “Where are you from?” Panel discussion & Reading Group

When? Thursday 21st March, 6pm – 7.30pm

Where? QUT Gardens Point, Lawn (Near entrance to the Goodwill Bridge and Riverstage)

We gather on the unceded lands of the Yuggera and Turrbal peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations communities across the country.
What?
An interactive installation by artist Shelley Cheng, this work explores experiences of otherness as collected from people who grew up Asian in Australia.

After an introduction from the organisers, BFU will break off to host a short reading group. Depending on numbers, we will either gather in a small group or break into smaller groups to read and discuss three short essays / memoir style pieces from the zine that accompanies this installation. The reading group discussion will run informally prior to the panel discussion, from around 5.30pm – 6pm.

Then, we’ll come back together for a panel discussion with three of the contributors: Shelley Cheng, Michelle Dang and Yen-Rong Wong from 6.15 – 7pm.

We’ll wrap up formal proceedings around 7pm, but there’ll be plenty of time for casual conversations about the topic afterwards.

More details:
About Shelley:
Shelley Cheng is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives on the stolen Aboriginal land of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples. They have exhibited throughout Brisbane in local cafes, shops, pop-up art spaces and artist-run initiatives. Shelley’s art also appears in political campaigns, community events, and fundraisers. They are currently undertaking an artist residency through Visible Ink while completing her undergraduate studies at QUT in Law (Honours)/ Journalism. Shelley is interested in prison abolition and transformative justice.

This project is presented as a part of Brisbane City Council’s Temporary Art Program 2019, produced by Metro Arts and people.artist.place, and made possible through the support of QUT Life and Curiocity.

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Where to for Brisbane Free University in 2019?

BFU friends!

We have two upcoming events to kick off the new year and settle into the BFU rhythm for 2019.

1. BFU Reading Group – Reading List discussion and planning chats

Details:

When? 6pm – 7.30pm, Thursday 31st January 2019

Where? 19 Dornoch Terrace, West End (The Book Merchant Jenkins, second-hand-bookshop)

What? On the cusp of our third year as a radical reading group, I reckon we should kick off with a big ol’ planning meeting. Let’s get together in our beautiful new second-hand bookshop home (on the corner of Dornoch Tce and Hardgrave Road, in West End) to sip tea, eat bickies, and have a proper chat about what we want out of reading group this year.

If you’re keen to join the reading group this year, or to continue, have a bit of a think over the next couple of weeks about what you’d like to read together this year. What kinds of things do we want to read? How much should we try to get through? Should we read less or more than we have been over the past two years? Should we read different sorts of things? More fiction? More poetry? More films? Should we change the structure a bit week-to-week? And practically speaking: how often do we want to meet? How/do we want conversations to be facilitated? How structured / unstructured would we like the group to be? Is the new location appropriate?

If you’re new to reading group and feel like you’d like to come along, this will be a great introduction to the group, and a good chance to have a bit of a say in how you reckon the reading group should run! And if you’ve been coming for a while, or on-and-off, and you’ve got some niggling concerns, bring those too! We’re all making this space together, and all ideas are welcome!

After this early meeting, some of us will duck away and write up a reading list for the year as usual, which we’ll publish sometime in the next few weeks when the group starts properly. But for now, come along with your ideas for the year, ready for a classic reading group catch-up!

We acknowledge that we gather on the unceded lands of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Brisbane. Sovereignty over this land was never ceded.

See facebook event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/273357896678122/

2. Public discussion & Picnic: Where to for Brisbane Free University?

When? 4pm – 5.30pm, Saturday 9th February 2019

Where? Bunyapa Park, cnr Thomas and Vulture Streets, West End

What? Public Discussion & Planning Meeting!

We acknowledge that we gather, organise and work on unceded Jagera and Turrbal land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across Brisbane. Sovereignty over this land was never ceded.

So: to kick off 2019, we reckon it’s high time for a big ol’ chat about what we all reckon Brisbane Free University should look like this year! To that end, I think we should have an organising meeting / public discussion / community picnic on Saturday 2nd February 2019 from 3pm – 4.30pm to talk about how we hope to see the free uni develop this year and into the future.

Do you think there’s still a need for a free education project like BFU in Brisbane? Do you think public lectures are a good format? Should we shake it up a bit? Do you have a workshop you really want to give? A course you wanna teach? A one-off lecture or public discussion? Think we should be collaborating more with other activist groups? Maybe we should make a zine together, or do something else entirely!

BFU is just over 6 years old, and we reckon it’s time to check in to see where this space should go in the future. We’re open to any suggestions, and we’d love to build something together out of what’s already here in our community 🙂

So, if you’ve been a regular attendee of BFU, or just a casual bystander, or if you’ve never heard of it before – you’re all welcome! We’d love to hear from you. Come along, share some food, get involved!

Accessibility information for this event:
The venue is a park. The event is child-friendly, and we welcome families to attend. However the park is not fenced and there will not be a separate space for children. We can provide some engagement materials (drawing supplies etc) on request.
This venue is wheelchair accessible, although much of the park is grassed
There is an accessible ambulant toilet with a change-table.
We will primarily be sitting on the grass, but we can try to organise some folding chairs if necessary. Please let us know if you need us to bring you a chair.
An Auslan interpreter will not be present.
Very limited First Aid will be available on site.

ALL WELCOME! Completely free!

See facebook event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/328843427842942/

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BFU & UQ Human Rights present: Adani – A defining moment for Indigenous Rights?

When? 6pm – 8pm, Tuesday 2 October, 2018.

Where?  University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, Michie Building, St Lucia 4067

What?  Public lecture & panel discussion:

Adani: A Defining Moment for Indigenous Rights in Australia? 

Adani’s Carmichael mine, if it proceeds, will cause untold destruction to Wangan and Jagalingou country. With this threat, families from across the Wangan and Jagalingou nations are fighting to defend their internationally recognised rights to oppose the Carmichael mine from proceeding on their homelands. Their legal and political campaign has garnered global attention and exposed the racial discrimination embedded in the Australian settler colonial state. The battle continues, in the courts and on the streets. The future of Adani’s proposed mine and its potential devastation to Wangan and Jagalingou country remains unknown.

This battle against the Adani mine represents a defining moment in Australian history. Whether this moment will be harnessed to progress the cause of Indigenous rights and self determination – including for Wangan and Jagalingou – remains to be seen.

This panel discussion, bringing together some of the country’s leading thinkers and front line campaigners, will examine Australia’s love affair with coal. It will examine the flaws in the current legal and political system that consistently prioritises large scale, highly destructive developments rather than Indigenous sovereignty, land rights, the rights of nature and the rights of communities, and which allows the sidelining and silencing of Indigenous rights and interests. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current governments’ support for opening up the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, including to establish Adani’s mega Carmichael mine project. We are watching this play out despite the reality of dubious coal economics and climate constraint, and the energy transition that is well underway.

SPEAKERS!

Introduction to the space and Acknowledgment of Country: Uncle Sam Watson

Facilitator and MC: Emily McConochie
Emily is a Wakka Wakka woman from ancestors who walked the South Burnett and Mary Valley Regions. She studies Development Practice at UQ and her passion and scholarship centres around decolonising community and social work practices, by learning from the work of our elders who preserve the traditions of custodianship and stories that keep our young people and communities strong.

Panel

Murrawah Johnson
Youth Spokesperson Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, Activist of the Year (Ngara Institute) and on the 50 Grist list – acknowledging her place amongst the world’s best and brightest fighting for the planet.

Dr Michelle Maloney
Co-founder and National Convenor Australian Earth Laws Alliance

David Ritter
CEO Greenpeace Australia Pacific, and author of The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim Our Democracy

Prof John Quiggin
Prominent Australian economist and UQ Vice Chancellors Senior Research Fellow

Snacks and drinks from 6pm. Discussion from 6.30pm – 8pm.

ALL WELCOME. COMPLETELY FREE. 

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and future and to all other First Nations people and communities in Meanjin. Sovereignty over these lands was never ceded.

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BFU presents: Memory – ethics, ecology, environment

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 2.10.04 pm.pngWhen? 4pm – 5.30pm, Wednesday 15th August (EKKA holiday)

Where? Bunyapa Park, cnr Thomas and Vulture Street, West End

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future, and to all other First Nations communities in Brisbane. Sovereignty over these lands was never ceded, and is not forgotten.

What?

A public discussion on memory and environment. We ask: how do we remember? What are the politics of memory? How do we make choices about what we remember and what we forget? And what does that say about us in these times of ecological crisis and climate change? We wonder: what are the ecological relationships between remembering and forgetting? How do our politics of memory map in cultural and environmental landscapes?

The speakers:

Kristy-Lee Horswood (Gamilaraay). Kristy is an organiser with Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, a co-host of 4zzz’s IndigiBriz and Souljah Sisters, and a contributor to feminist radio collective Radio Reversal.

Raina Fox is a current Rotary Peace Fellow, studying peace and conflict studies at UQ. Her background is in museum studies, oral history, public humanities and arts for social change. She’s interested in the connections between memory and peace-building.

Ariana Russell recently completed her Honours in gender and cultural studies @ University of Sydney. Ariana is interested in queer ecologies / feminist post-human phenomonology / environmental ethics / crocodiles!

Format:
As usual, this event is free and open to everyone. We invite speakers to present for 10-15 minutes each, before opening up to broader discussion and dialogue. And sometimes we retire to a pub or cafe afterwards to continue the chats. You’re welcome to come and go as you please, and feel free to bring food with you.

It’s pretty cold in the park once the sun goes down, so try to bring along a blanket and dress warmly. Some seating is provided but many of us will sit on the ground. Snuggling also recommended. We’ll bring an urn with some tea bags and stuff, so pop a cup in your bag if you remember. Hopefully it’ll still be reasonably warm in the afternoon, but come prepared!

Accessibility information for this event:
The venue is a park. The event is child-friendly, and we welcome families to attend. However the park is not fenced and there will not be a separate space for children. We can provide some engagement materials (drawing supplies etc) on request.
This venue is wheelchair accessible, although much of the park is grassed
There is an accessible ambulant toilet with a change-table.
Some comfortable seating is provided, and priority will be given to those with mobility difficulties or who request special assistance. Please let an organiser know if you need a chair and there are none available. We’ll be the ones fiddling with the mics at the front.
Online notes are not available for our speakers, though copies of other materials they have written can be provided on request.
An Auslan interpreter will not be present.
Very limited First Aid will be available on site.

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BFU presents: In Defence of Difficult Art

Join us for a community conversation about the radical potential of “difficult art” through a deep dive into aesthetic theory, the politics and poetics of sound, world-building, alter-politics and radical imaginaries. Whether you’re a seasoned thinker-about-music or just curious, invested in theorising the intersections of music-making and radical politics or vague on what any of those terms mean…this is for you! No specialised knowledge necessary, just a willingness to listen and think and (maybe) sip tea.

We acknowledge that we gather on unceded Aboriginal land, on the territories of Jagera, Yuggera and Turrbal peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and to other First Nations people and communities in Meanjin. Sovereignty was never ceded.

When?
6pm – 7.30pm, Wednesday 20 June, 2018

Where?
Bunyapa Park, West End

Who?
Hannah Reardon-Smith is a Brisbane-based musician working with flute and electronics in various forms of notation and improvisation. She collaboratively performs with and directs several local music-making groups, including contemporary art music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, improvisation trio Rogue Three, and electroacoustic duo Richard&Linda with her partner Liam Flenady.

Hannah is a current PhD candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, exploring a queer-feminist thinking of free improvisation, featuring the work and voices of women and non-binary folk practicing in the field. She blogs at stayandmakekin.wordpress.com and more of her work can be found on her website hannahreardonsmith.com

Liam Flenady is a composer and electric guitarist, and writing for and performing with new music ensemble Kupka’s Piano and duo Richard&Linda. Liam recently completed a PhD in composition through Griffith University, where his topic was ‘Composing Contrapuntal Worlds’. Additionally, Liam is a political activist and organiser, having been involved in a variety of progressive campaigns and organisations over the last decade.

Liam’s music currently centres on the question of what ‘counterpoint’ could mean outside of its historical bounds. Rather than a method of dissonance treatment or voice-leading, counterpoint is conceived of as a matter ‘world construction’, of building relational logics of simultaneous sounding parts, where the degree of identity and difference between parts represent the primary structural concerns.

Format:
As usual, the event is free and open to everyone. We invite speakers to present for 10-15 minutes each, before opening up to broader discussion and dialogue. And sometimes we retire to the pub afterwards to continue the chats. You’re welcome to come and go as you please, and feel free to bring food with you.

It’s pretty cold in the park at night, so try to bring along a blanket and dress warmly. Some seating is provided but many of us will sit on the ground. Snuggling also recommended. We’ll bring an urn with some tea bags and stuff, so pop a cup in your bag if you remember.

Accessibility information for this event:
The venue is a park. The event is child-friendly, and we welcome families to attend. However the park is not fenced and there will not be a separate space for children. We can provide some engagement materials (drawing supplies etc) on request.
This venue is wheelchair accessible, although much of the park is grassed
There is an accessible ambulant toilet with a change-table.
Some comfortable seating is provided, and priority will be given to those with mobility difficulties or who request special assistance. Please let an organiser know if you need a chair and there are none available. We’ll be the ones fiddling with the mics at the front.
Online notes are not available for our speakers, though copies of other materials they have written can be provided on request.
An Auslan interpreter will not be present.
Very limited First Aid will be available on site.

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BFU presents: Race, colonialism & the politics of representation

When? 6pm – 7.30pm, Wednesday 23 May

Where? Bunyapa Park, West End

What? Critical conversation and public discussion

Join us to hear Dr. Chelsea Bond and Dr. Paige West in conversation about racism, colonialism, representation and violence in Australia and PNG.

About the speakers
Dr. Chelsea Bond is an Aboriginal (Munanjahli) and South Sea Islander Australian and a Senior Lecturer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit. Dr Bond has worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker and researcher in communities across south-east Queensland for the past 20 years and has a strong interest in urban Indigenous health promotion, culture, identity and community development. Dr Bond is also a board member of Inala Wangarra (an Indigenous community development association), and Screen Queensland, an affiliate member of UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Research and regular guest host of 98.9FM’s Let’s Talk program.

Dr. Paige West is the Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University in New York. Her broad scholarly interest is the relationship between societies and their environments. More specifically, she has written about the linkages between environmental conservation and international development, the material and symbolic ways in which the natural world is understood and produced, the aesthetics and poetics of human social relations with nature, and the creation of commodities and practices of consumption. Since the mid 1990s she has worked with indigenous people in Papua New Guinea. In addition to her academic work, Dr. West is the co-founder of the PNG Institute of Biological Research, a small organisation dedicated to building academic opportunities for research in PNG by Papua New Guineans. She is also the co-founder of the Roviana Solwara Skul, a school in PNG dedicated to teaching at the nexus of indigenous knowledge and western scientific knowledge.

As usual, the event is free and open to everyone.

We acknowledge that we gather on unceded Aboriginal land, on the territories of Jagera and Turrbal peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.
Accessibility information for this event:

  • The venue is a park. The event is child-friendly, and we welcome families to attend. However the park is not fenced and there will not be a separate space for children. We can provide some engagement materials (drawing supplies etc) on request.
  • This venue is wheelchair accessible, although much of the park is grassed
  • There is an accessible ambulant toilet with a change-table.
  • Some comfortable seating is provided, and priority will be given to those with mobility difficulties.
  • Online notes are not available for our speakers, though copies of other materials they have written can be provided on request.
  • An Auslan interpreter will not be present.
  • Very limited First Aid will be available on site.
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BFU presents: Art, politics & public space in the New World City

When? 6pm – 7.30pm, Wednesday 25 April

Where? Bunyapa Park, West End

What? Brisbane Free University kicks off the year with a juicy public conversation on the politics and practices of participatory public art. And alliteration.

Speakers:
Shane Sugrue is one-fifth of Unqualified Design Studio, a collective of partially-employed architects, artists, and designers based in Brisbane. His work examines the potential for unsolicited and participatory spatial practices to trigger altered relationships with public space. He lives in East Brisbane with three chickens and four people.

Aleea Monsour is a community theatre-maker and facilitator. She is interested in thinking about the role of theatre in engaging and empowering communities to share and hear their stories.

Shelley Cheng is sometimes an artist and lives on the stolen Aboriginal land of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples. Shelley is currently completing her undergraduate studies in law/ journalism and is interested in critical race theory, decoloniality, transformative justice and community building. She’ll be speaking about her experiences of presenting interactive art pieces/ installations which allowed audiences to write and draw responses to her work, choose the direction of incomplete work, and interact with other members of the audience.

Format:
Each speaker will present for 10 minutes or so, and then we’ll open up for questions and broad community conversation.

ALL WELCOME. COMPLETELY FREE.

BFU acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we gather, the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, and their Elders past, present and future. Sovereignty over these lands was never ceded.

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