Symposium, Conversation, Workshops, Talk

Join us for River Conversations, a two-day symposium situated on the Parramatta River and The Cutaway at Barangaroo – on water and on land co-created with Erin O’Donnell, water law and policy specialist, University of Melbourne and Alessandro Pelizzon, legal anthropologist, Southern Cross University. Led by First Nations voices, interdisciplinary caretakers will share their river conversations through a variety of methods including film, workshops, poetry, talks, storytelling and deep listening.

River Conversations acknowledges the vulnerabilities of our River systems. The dominant narrative sees the River only in the terms of economic gain – divided from the people who listen and care for the River and the surrounding environment that supports it.

In an effort to save our Rivers, our Rivers are being transformed: given ‘voice’ and ‘legal personhood status’ as a way of protecting these endangered systems.  But what does this mean for the River and its surrounding communities? What are the real-life implications of changing the law? To speak of rivers in legal terms, after all, may still not be enough. How can we listen and converse with the River to understand its needs in an active and embodied way? How can we appreciate and acknowledge the holistic value our Rivers offer without reducing it to ‘human’ comparisons? Some of the questions and more that will be unpacked over the symposium.

River Conversations will feature local and international participation enabling a rich mapping of conversations between rivers, communities and future imaginaries, on a global scale.

Dates & Times
You can choose to join us for all sessions, multiple sessions or just one.

Friday, 22 April 2022
10 am–2 pm

Saturday, 23 April 2022
10 am–1 pm

Saturday, 23 April 2022
2–5 pm

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Venue
Friday, 22 April 2022 / Tribal Warrior, pick up from Circular Quay
Saturday, 23 April 2022 / The Cutaway at Barangaroo

Cost
$66/$32 +booking fees

Access
The Biennale of Sydney strives to make all events accessible. You can advise us of your access requirements when booking online, by email or calling our box office on 02 8484 8702.

Box Office Opening Hours
Monday – Friday
9 am–4 pm
02 8484 8702
Email – art@biennaleofsydney.com.au

Session 1 – Day 1: On a boat along the Parramatta river

River Source: Support; it gives
Friday, 22 April 2022
10 am–1 pm

Program:

  • Welcome to Country
  • Leanne Tobin (Dharug)
  • Bradley Moggridge (Kamilaroi)

You will be on the boat for 3 hours.

 

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Session 2 – Day 2: On land (morning)

River Tributaries: Positionality; being with and in the River 
Saturday, 23 April 2022
10 am–1 pm

Program:

  • Welcome to Country
  • Badger Bates (Barkandji) with Clarence Slockee (Bundjalung, based on Gadigal Land)
  • Justice Md Ashraful Kamal (Bangladesh)
  • Zena Cumpston (Barkandji)

 

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Session 3 – Day 2: On land (afternoon)

River Mouth: Ancestral Being; it speaks, we listen 
Saturday, 23 April 2022
2–5 pm

Program:

  • Dr Anne Poelina (Nyikina Warrwa)
  • Birrarung Council (Birrarung)
  • D Harding (Bidjara / Ghungalu / Garingbal)

 

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Participants

With more participants to be announced.

Image Credit: Badger Bates, participant, at the First Participant Announcement for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022) at the Cutaway. Photograph: Daniel Boud. 

River Conversations is generously supported by the University of Melbourne.