Rethinking the narrative of climate change

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


An international symposium will combine academia, activism and the arts this week to ignite the imagination of the community and spark effective discussion about climate change.

Presented by the University of Newcastle’s Law School, in collaboration with Griffith University and Southern Cross University, the interdisciplinary Narratives of Climate Change Symposium aims to improve public debate and increase support for the environment and climate action.

The symposium will feature registered attendees from a diversity of local, interstate and international backgrounds, including scientists, artists, academics and leadership, to collaborate on climate change action.

In addition, a series of cultural-based community events will explore alternative narratives of climate change to spark thought-provoking discussion.

An art exhibition at the University’s NeW Space city campus will feature the works of six artists showcasing paintings, sculptures, and sound and image installations. Among them is Newcastle-based artist, Liss Finney, whose ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ installation of cowhide, meat hooks and rope provokes thought around animal agriculture’s plight on the natural world.

Also featured in the exhibition is Annique Goldenberg’s unique work incorporating a glass tank of flood water from the 2017 Lismore flood to illuminate the harsh reality of global warming.

To further explore themes within the climate change narrative, an additional exhibition, Music, Visuals and Short-film at Tower Cinemas on 5 July will showcase a variety of short-films. Among contributors is Claudia Hill showcasing her experimental short film, Kŏnˈvoi, which is running at international film festivals.

University of Newcastle Law School lecturer, Dr Elena Aydos, said the interdisciplinary nature of the symposium and the associated community events was very unique.

“The focus of this initiative is inspired by the possibility that the gap between climate science and effective political, legal and social action can be bridged by alternative forms of narrative that is incorporated into artistic creations, works of fiction and other media.

“By exploring alternative narratives of climate change we hope to invigorate fresh attitudes and perspectives to drive beneficial outcomes for the environment.”

Tickets for the Music, Visuals and Short-film Exhibition on 5 July, 6pm at Tower Cinemas Newcastle, are available via Sticky Tickets.

The Narratives of Climate Change Art Exhibition will be open to the public on 5 and 6 July at the University’s NeW Space city campus.

For more information or to register for the Narratives of Climate Change Symposium click here.