26 October 2022

Waterways Country - Symposium

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people walking through bushland near water

Waterways Country explores our relationships with local waterways, as part of Design Canberra. Photo: Catchment Studio.

Explore the stories of Canberra’s waterways, come together to explore living better with water and learn how colonialism impacts Country.

As part of the Design Canberra Festival, Catchment Studio invites you to join us for Waterways Country, a workshop series, a symposium and art installations exploring our relationships with local waterways.

Building on insights developed during the Following Sullivans, Learning Country program, the Waterways Country symposium brings together people from across the ACT community to consider our relationships with water systems. We’ll learn about and consider how we can centre Indigenous perspectives, think about how scientific inquiry contributes to our understanding and explore how the arts help us creatively re-imagine ourselves as part of waterway communities.

The symposium runs over three days, each inspired by the themes: ‘Looking to See’, ‘Listening to Hear’ and ‘Learning to Understand’. Panel discussions will present and consider different ways of responding to Sullivans Creek, and we’ll work together in several ‘Flows’ sessions to create a collaborative ‘mud map’ of the geographies, meanings and values of Canberra’s waterways. We’ll remember to move, with Canberra dance company Biocentrica leading a workshop inviting us to connect with water through our bodies and senses, and we’ll experience the premiere screenings of two short films exploring waterways.

Indigenous voices will weave through each conversation, leading, facilitating or reflecting on shared points of view, bringing us back to consider the preeminence of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in our relationships with waterways. And while discussions will start with Sullivan’s Creek, they’ll broaden out to consider water systems across the ACT, so don’t feel shy if you don’t live north of the lake!

The Waterways Country program aims to be accessible to all. With thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, tickets are available by donation. We suggest $15 + per symposium day.

Tickets include morning tea and a mid-day snack each day. If you’re still hungry, you’ll need to head to the Museum cafe to purchase lunch!

All monies raised through ticket sales will be donated to a charity supporting platypus conservation, as selected by Uncle Wally Bell.

If you would like to participate but are not in a position to make a donation, please contact us! Send an email to createandsow@gmail.com telling us about your connection with Ngunnawal waterways and why you would like to attend the symposium. Please put ‘Waterways Country Bursary’ in the subject line of your email.

The details

What: Waterways Country – Symposium
When: Monday 14 November to Wednesday 16 November, 10 am to 3 pm daily
Where: National Museum of Australia (Peninsula Room and Visions Theatre)
Cost: By donation. Register at Eventbrite.

For more information, visit the Design Canberra Festival.

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