Change Media - Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell

CACD DIgital ArtsFilm and VideoMulti-disciplinaryPlayPublic ArtStorytellingArtistCACD practitionerCollaborator
CACD DIgital ArtsFilm and VideoMulti-disciplinaryPlayPublic ArtStorytellingArtistCACD practitionerCollaboratorDirectorProducerCONFIRMEDPresentationTraining CommunicationsCross-culturalJusticeRegional
Change Media's proposal for Arts Front:
Creating Together - what can possibly go wrong?
Decolonise your mind: A 2-hour playful examination of privilege, fear and power to reclaim and reframe the cultural value debate.

Over the last two years, as part of Jen’s Australia Council for the Arts CACD Fellowship, we have been thinking about the new - and old - crisis in our sector and what tools we might need for effective change. We have focused on what it means to co-create and how colonizing mindsets can impact our best intentions.

• How do we create together equitably in times of crisis, when access and capacity are stratified?
• How can we open up a discussion about reclaiming and reframing values and solidarity, beyond the neo-liberal frames we are all currently trapped in? In the Arts we see it permeate through all levels of involvement, [arts admin, practitioners, participants, stakeholders, audience] with shifts towards risk avoidance and fear-driven self-censorship that inhibit our ability to imagine.
• What would be required to avoid bringing old assumptions and crusty power structures into a new network?
• How can we increase our awareness of the values and beliefs we bring (caring and harmful) and explore how they impact on all stages of the co-creative process?
• How can we co-create a shared vision that clearly separates the values from the hidden and overt violence that manifests in colonial collaborations?
• How do we create a space to consider absent voices and chaos, (the new, the unknown) which arise when creating a collective vision?

We have developed a prototype game to explore how we create together, to uncover ways to identify old patterns of power and privilege and explore how we can disrupt and reframe those values to collaboratively develop new narratives to work more equitably together. It’s a wicked world engine for personal and collaborative systemic change, called 'Creating Together - what can possibly go wrong?'.

We propose to run a hands-on session to introduce these concepts and use them instantly as part of a re-framing debate at the beginning of Day 2 of the Arts Front meeting:

1. Explore Arts Front current visions and the values that drive socially engaged art projects
2. Explore how we can disrupt internalized and systemic violence
3. Reframe our power relationships and begin to separate the violence from the values to speak back to bullying on a personal and systematic level

The session will be a lively values debate, to reframe and design progressive actions as part of the vision work of our sector. Let's move beyond narratives of despair and hope, and question together what the 'signals from the future' might be...

Change Media's Profile:
Change Media is led by Artistic director Jennifer Lyons-Reid and creative producer Carl Kuddell as the co-founders and key artists. They live and work on Ngarrindjeri country in South East SA and work also Australia-wide.

They run a national arts initiative, focusing on disruptive innovation, critical literacy and social change through co-creative storytelling.
In the last two decades they have worked in socially engaged arts, broadcast, live and fine art, and delivered hundreds of workshops and performances with thousands of participants across Australia, received awards across the globe for their work.
Change Media’s recent strategic advisory work includes investigations into value, equity and harm in socially engaged arts, as part of Jennifer’s 2-year Australia Council Fellowship.

Jennifer and Carl’s passion for social change includes a successful career in TV with several factual entertainment series for TV [Is Your House Killing You? SBS 2008, Pinnaroo Surfer 2009 and Everything is Connected for ABC iView 2016] and several internationally acclaimed human rights documentaries [Holiday Camp, First Fleet Back, 10x14 Bricks - Stories from Youth in Lock-up, Nukkan.Kungun.Yunnan - Ngarrindjeri's Being Heard] and hundreds of short films and documentaries in collaboration with communities and local governments, addressing social justice, environmental and human rights issues through innovative media art. Their work spans across art forms, including hybrid media, documentary, performance, fine and live art.

Jennifer and Carl’s work has been exhibited globally in hundreds of film festivals and arts exhibitions, including Seoul Human Rights Film Festival, Regional Arts Australia Kumuwuki, Transmediale Berlin, International Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York and London, Light in Winter Melbourne, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Underground Film Festival and the Adelaide Film Festival.

Their hands-on methodology centers on critical media literacy for liberation, as featured in their 2011 article published by the Australia Council for the Arts and in their critical literacy work, Typology of Harm [2014].
Their co-creative CACD strategy aims for narratives that challenge perception of what is possible in each of their innovative-disruptive works, as part of their concept of ‘Glorious Failures': The art, ability and recognition that we are all shaping, sharing or withholding our stories and constantly co-creating our world and that we can collectively grow our responses to a complex set of oppressions.