Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial (RRM) is a visual arts research project that concerns the Australian frontier wars and the possibility of representing the magnitude of Indigenous loss and survival in a national memorial. This is an Australia Research Council grant.

FORUM 2018: About

A healing ceremony for a massacre site in Uganda. Photo provided by Nelson Abiti.

A healing ceremony for a massacre site in Uganda. Photo provided by Nelson Abiti.


25-30 June, 2018, Melbourne, Australia

A five-day program designed to seek new methods in art, architecture and design for addressing the histories, memories and legacies of frontier violence and Indigenous dispossession in Australia, with international comparative examples of ceremony and memorials. Based in Melbourne, the forum connected local efforts to commemorate frontier massacres and repatriate human remains with major international projects that have memorialised genocide and other histories of loss. The Indigenous-led forum brought together a core group of artists, architects, scholars and community leaders from Australia and internationally for a mixed program of site visits, closed workshops, an exhibition and public conversations.

The forum was an opportunity to expand on the RRM research project and  create a platform for a transnational, dynamic and provocative conversation, that inserts the Australian experience in the global discussion about the need to address traumatic histories. The main focus of the forum was developing protocols to guide new memorial projects. We workshopped three case studies that are hoped to be future transformative urban projects in Australia: the Truth and Reconciliation Art Park as part of the Macquarie Point Development in Hobart, Tasmania, The Blacktown Native Institute, the first site of the removal of Aboriginal children, Western Sydney, and the National Resting Place, for unprovenanced Aboriginal human remains proposed for Canberra, ACT. All three case studies were led by the communities they are from.

The forum begun with a Welcome to Country by N'arweet Carolyn Briggs, Boon Wurrung senior elder and chairperson and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation.

Public events included a Boiler Room Lecture at the State Library of Victoria on 26 June and a public program at the National Gallery of Victoria on 30 June. Details here.

Hear Brook Andrew talk about the forum:

The forum was presented by MADA, the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University, in collaboration with RMIT Architecture and Urban Design and the University of Melbourne Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and School of Population and Global Health and with inkind support from the Koorie Heritage Trust.

Macquarie Point Development Corporation and the City of Melbourne were sponsors of specific delegates and site visits.

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