Art for Social Change (ASC) is a community-based creative practice associated with social justice and the empowerment of communities. Inspired by thinkers from the Global South, these emancipatory practices have become broadly accepted, seen as contributing to community participation, and as a way of engaging with minoritised communities. This paper focuses on the processes of ASC in the context of a colonial settler society and women of colour. From a feminist perspective from the Global South and using case studies across different geographies that centre of women of colour, this paper examines how ASC unfolds at the intersection of complex racial relations, where art making and story-telling shape unique possibilities for personal and community connection.
Change Makers is a collaborative program led by Victoria University’s Sport and Social Change Living Lab in partnership with community organisations and local government. The program aims to drive systemic change toward transformative social inclusion of migrants and refugees in sport and physical activity in Melbourne’s West. The project creates a community of practice of 60 Change Makers from a range of sports and community groups who are trained, mentored and supported to design and implement innovative projects that address structural and cultural barriers to participation. Beyond participation, Change Makers seeks to enhance the representation of migrants and refugees in positions of leadership in local sports clubs. In this seminar, we explain the rationale for the program, the theory of change that underpins it, and the community engagement and co-creation mechanisms adopted in the program.
In 2019 and 2020 a research team at Victoria University examined, in partnership with several local councils, far-right dynamics in three local municipalities across Victoria. A particular focus of the study was to examined local factors that may make some people more or less vulnerable to far-right mobilisation. How did far-right groups use local concerns and grievances for their own radical agenda and how did local stakeholders, in particular community and civil society groups and local government respond? Based on extensive empirical fieldwork, the study explored, among others, how structural factors, such as urban planning and segregation, interact with identity-related issues, such as local pride and belonging, and in doing so either fuelling social division and polarisation or advancing a progressive agenda of inclusion and social justice.
Watch the recording of Mario’s presentation below