The Region

The Region

West Space / Enjoy Contemporary Art Space / Para Site / Western Front

Design: Nina M Gibbes and Zenobia Ahmed.

September 12, 2021
The Region
September 22–October 1, 2021

The Region: dialogues on the power and precarity of artist self-organisation in the Asia-Pacific is an international symposium, co-created by West Space (Australia), Para Site (Hong Kong), Enjoy Contemporary Art Space (Aotearoa) and Western Front (Canada), and co-facilitated by CAST research group, School of Art, RMIT University (Australia).

September 22:
“Illusions of structural change? Resisting the cultural identity of western institutions in artist-run spaces”
Hosted by Enjoy Contemporary Art Space
Chair: Vanessa Mei Crofsky
Speakers: Vanessa Kwan, Tania Willard and Tamsen Hopkinson

September 23: 
“Working in place: Cultural perspectives and responses to the complexity of gentrification”
Hosted by West Space
Chair: Andy Butler
Speakers: T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss, Elisapeta Heta, Keg de Souza and Seelan Palay

September 24: 
“Collectivism and new forms of curating in the Asia-Pacific”
Hosted by Para-site
Chair: Celia Ho
Speakers: Zoe Butt, Gridthiya Gaweewong and Grace Samboh

September 30: 
“Legacies: Acknowledging Histories, Imagining Futures”
Hosted by Western Front
Chair: Susan Gibb
Speakers: Ringo Bunoan, Lyna Kourn, Lana Lopesi and Anthony Yung

October 1:
“The scene: A future of friendships, possibilities and partnerships”
Hosted by CAST research group, School of Art, RMIT University
Chairs: Marnie Badham and Tammy Hulbert
Speakers: Andy Butler, Vanessa Crofskey, Celia Ho and Susan Gibb

All sessions will start at the same time:
Naarm (Melbourne): 12–1:30pm
Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington): 2–3:30pm
Hong Kong: 10–11:30am
Vancouver: 7–8:30pm

Co-created and presented by four of the longest-standing artist organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, The Region is a digital symposium that examines pressing questions of power and precarity, with a focus on artist self-organisation. The symposium will consider the objectives, freedoms and responsibilities of small institutions as they exist across contemporary contexts of urban gentrification and Western hegemony, whose shared futures are informed by local and specific histories, and which are expressed today through new forms of curating and collectivity. 

In 2001 West Space, with 17 international peer organisations, convened Space Traffic, a global conference that aimed to “bring together alternative art spaces from around the world to discuss, tackle, and explore issues surrounding non-mainstream art and culture with a focus on the Asia-Pacific.” On the 20th anniversary of the original symposium, West Space, in partnership with two of the original participants, Western Front (Vancouver) and Para Site (Hong Kong), and a new partner, Enjoy (Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington) will revisit this agenda from our current context.

Across five sessions and over two weeks, The Region will host upwards of 15 speakers to generate discussion, peer exchange and intercultural dialogue regarding independent, artists’ self organisation, contemporary curating and cultural production in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The five partner organisations will each host an online session, conducted in English over Zoom, with live AUSLAN interpretation and English closed captions. All sessions will be recorded and made publicly available after the Symposium’s end.

Admission is free. Registration is required.

The Region is made possible with support from the City of Melbourne, and RMIT University, Australia.

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West Space  / Enjoy Contemporary Art Space  / Para Site  / Western Front
September 12, 2021

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West Space  / Enjoy Contemporary Art Space  / Para Site  / Western Front will be in touch.


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