Redfern School of Displacement

Pedagogy, Temporary Architecture, Walk / Tour
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Description

Redfern School of Displacement was held during the 20th Biennale of Sydney: the future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed (18th March – 5th June 2016).

The School was held inside the temporary architecture,  We Built This City, constructed of  salvaged tents pulled apart and sewn together as one unified structure.
16 Vine Street, Redfern on selected days. See below for details.

About Redfern School of Displacement and Program:

Redfern School of Displacement acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which it takes place, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, and pays respect to Elders, past and present.

Opening a dialogue from here RSD aims to cultivate local knowledge about globally relevant issues of displacement through a series of discussions and tours. By creating a platform for conversation and debate that explores the politics of displacement, RSD promotes learning as a useful tool to combat the forces of dispossession for the future.

The School focusses on collective learning and knowledge production. RSD emphasises that learning should not be confined to institutions and instead become more inclusive, accessible and connected to community. Key participants who have particular knowledge relating to the topics at hand have been invited to contribute to the dialogue, helping to make it both meaningful and in depth.

Marginalised voices that are often displaced from mainstream dialogue are at the centre of the RSD. Participants attending the school are requested to acknowledge their personal privileges and actively make space for “other” voices. RSD focuses on alternative approaches to education and sets up an independent platform for the sharing of information and experience. The goals of the school are to create dialogue and debate around issues relating to social justice and equality from a local perspective.

Some of the topics to be explored through the talks and tours include: dispossession and displacement through enforced and prioristised language; colonisation and the displacement of Indigenous residents from the Redfern area; housing and homelessness; displacement caused by conflict and changing climate and the future to come; displacement through gentrification. Redfern School of Displacement will be hosted within the makeshift architecture of We Built this City. The related tours, known as the Redfern -Waterloo: Tour of Beauty, are hosted by SquatSpace and will venture into the streets of Redfern.

It is more meaningful to learn about a place, whilst being in the place. Redfern School of Displacement extends the idea that situated learning occurs through actively lived experience. School excursions, as bike and bus tours around Redfern, are a key route to knowledge for the school, and will prioritise learning about the local displacement that results from gentrification. The Redfern/Waterloo: Tour of Beauty makes it possible for participants to learn directly from local stakeholders at significant neighbourhood sites and sets up the complex ecology of this neighbourhood as a microcosm to discuss broader issues relating to displacement.

Housing and Homelessness
This event begins with a Welcome to Country organised by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Sunday 20th March
1pm

News stories about living in Sydney often discuss the high price of housing in the city. With a tax system that favours investment properties over housing we are witnessing more and more people being displaced from their homes.

As state government sells of more public housing for private ownership and developers buy up more real estate, the rate of homelessness continues to rise and inner city Sydney is slowing being converted into a sea of luxury apartments in order to make Sydney a city for the rich. Tent settlements located around the city, including Belmore Park in front of Central Station and Wentworth Park of displaced people now fill the city’s cracks and spaces.

This dialogue is based on a city that is driven by development over housing and it’s effects on local communities, such as Redfern, and attempts to find tactics that could be employed to help counter displacement.

Invited participants include:
Nathan Moran, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
Ross Smith, Activist for universal equity of access to secure and safe housing
Shane McGrath, who developed an interest in housing issues, and a hatred of landlords, as a squatter and tenant in the early 2000s. He now works as a tenant advocate for Housing for the Aged Action Group, the only housing organisation in Australia run by and for older people. His work, as well as his monthly rent payments, have only deepened his interest and sharpened his hatred
and more…

SquatSpace presents Redfern – Waterloo: Tour of Beauty
Saturday 9th April, 1-5pm
Bus and bike tour. Limited Places.
Bookings essential via info@squatspace.com

The theme of local displacement through gentrification will be explored in a series of “excursions” hosted by SquatSpace, known as the Redfern/Waterloo: Tour of Beauty.

The inner city suburb of Redfern, Sydney has a long history of being home to a large working class and Indigenous community. In more recent years the area has witnessed a process of rapid urban change, displacing many of these residents.

The Tour of Beauty first ran from 2005-2009 and took people on a bus (or bike) tour of these inner Sydney suburbs, it highlighted particular sites which were threatened by the Redfern Waterloo Authority’s plan to “revitalise” the area.

Each tour lasted 4-5 hours and tourists were addressed by various representatives of the local community – for example, from the local Indigenous Women’s Centre, the Settlement Community Centre, the Aboriginal Housing Company, the REDWatch activist group, architects, designers, and the Indigenous Social Justice Association.

These current tours mark their 10-year anniversary. A decade on, some people view the area as gentrified, but the plans for the area have only just begun. The Block – a unique place within Sydney’s urban landscape as a centre for the Indigenous community – is about to have construction begin on a major new mixed-use development and further down the road Waterloo has been earmarked as the site for a new metro station with corresponding high-rise construction, confirming the local area is set for another major transformation.

Each tour will meet with speakers at significant sites around the area who will present their perspective on the urban transformation of the suburb and how they see it affecting the local residents, giving a personalised insight into this highly complex and contested changing suburb.

More information on the history of the tours:
http://squatspace.com/tour-of-beauty/

 

SquatSpace presents Redfern – Waterloo: Tour of Beauty
Saturday 23rd April, 1-5pm
Bus and bike tour. Limited Places.
Bookings essential via info@squatspace.com 

More information on the history of the tours:
http://squatspace.com/tour-of-beauty/

 

Forced Migration and the Future.
Saturday 7th May, 1pm

Limited places
Bookings essential via schoolofdisplacement@gmail.com

Across the globe we are witnessing an upheaval in the form of mass migration, caused by the instability of economies, conflict and climate. The past year saw the largest displacement of people since World War II. Whilst tent settlements are increasingly taking the place of real housing solutions, these makeshift shelters are also necessarily sites of creativity–spaces in which alternative ways of living are forged. Forced Migration and the Future is an event that asks the public to participate in an ongoing dialogue on migration in order to envision possible futures characterised by: informal economies, self-management, self-education, direct democracy, resourcefulness, tolerance, sites of resilience and resistance.

This conversation is part of the creative collaboration, The Shape of Things to Come, with Futurist Kristin Alford, artists Mirabelle Wouters, Keg de Souza and Alicia Talbot that will be hosted by the Redfern School of Displacement over 10 days. This collaboration will develop a conversation with children around displacement and what the future may look like. The collaborative process questions hierarchies of teaching and learning as children and artists together discuss a future vision that can counter displacement with belonging. Forced Migration and the Future opens up this continuing conversation through this public event.

Developed in collaboration with Jiva Parthipan, Abaker Athum & St Mary’s Dance Group and STARTTS (Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors).

 

SquatSpace presents Redfern – Waterloo: Tour of Beauty
Saturday 14th May, 1-5pm
Bus and bike tour. Limited Places.
Bookings essential via info@squatspace.com  

More information on the history of the tours:
http://squatspace.com/tour-of-beauty/

 

The Shape of Things to Come
Sat 21 May, 1pm
Limited places
Bookings essential via schoolofdisplacement@gmail.com

 Building from Forced Migration and the Future (7th May), the children and artists of The Shape of Things to Come discuss a future vision that can counter displacement with belonging.

Developed in collaboration with Jiva Parthipan, Abaker Athum & St Mary’s Dance Group and STARTTS (Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors).

 

Dispossession and displacement through enforced and prioristised language
Saturday 28th May, 1pm

Control over language is intrinsically tied to colonial oppression and hierarchical power structures. By the creation of an enforced dominant language certain, often Indigenous, voices are marginalised and displaced. This imposed use of language is perpetuated and taught through means such as an imperial school system and causes displacement in broader society.

Language is used as a medium that maintains hierarchical power structures, creating imposed definitions of how someone ‘should’ behave in a colonial society. How can these power structures be rejected through language as a way to de-colonise space?

Invited participants:

Megan Cope, a Quandamooka woman and visual artist who maps Indigenous language onto Australian maps as a form of de-colonisation and
James Oliver who is from the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides and this Gaelic heritage informs his relationship to the English language.

A publication will be produced after the complete program to reflect and expand on the discussions.

Contribution to the not evenly distributed blog here

We Built This City was commissioned for the 20th Biennale of Sydney and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and ArtsNSW.

 

  • Image: Document Photography

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  • Image: Phoung Le

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  • Image: Document Photography

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  • Billy Macpherson speaks on the Tour of Beauty. Image: TextaQueen

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  • Jenny Munro speaks on the Tour of Beauty

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  • Ross Smith speaks on the Tour of Beauty

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  • Homelessness and Housing discussion

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  • Homelessness and Housing discussion

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