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The Region: dialogues on the power and precarity of artist self-organisation in the Asia-Pacific is an international symposium, co-created by West Space (Australia), Para Site (Hong Kong), Enjoy Contemporary Art Space (Aotearoa), Western Front (Canada), and co-facilitated by CAST research group, School of Art, RMIT University (Australia).

Co-created and presented by four of the longest-standing arts organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, The Region is a digital symposium that examines pressing questions of power and precarity, with a focus on artist self-organisation. The symposium will consider the objectives, freedoms, and responsibilities of small institutions as they exist across contemporary contexts of urban gentrification and Western hegemony, whose shared futures are informed by local and specific histories, and which are expressed today through new forms of curating and collectivity.

In 2001, West Space, with 17 international peer organisations, convened Space Traffic, a global conference that aimed to ‘bring together alternative art spaces from around the world to discuss, tackle, and explore issues surrounding non-mainstream art and culture with a focus on the Asia-Pacific’. On the 20th anniversary of the original symposium, West Space, in partnership with two of the original participants, Western Front and Para Site, and a new partner, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, will revisit this agenda from our current context.

Across five sessions and over two weeks, The Region will host upwards of 15 speakers to generate discussion, peer exchange, and intercultural dialogue regarding independent artists’ self-organisation, contemporary curating, and cultural production in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The five partner organisations will each host an online session, conducted in English over Zoom, with live AUSLAN interpretation and English closed captions. The sessions will be recorded and made publicly available after the Symposium’s end.

Admission is free. Registration is required. See the website for registration links.

September 22:
Illusions of structural change? Resisting the cultural identity of western institutions in artist-run spaces

September 23:
Working in place: Cultural perspectives and responses to the complexity of gentrification
Hosted by West Space

September 24:
Collectivism and new forms of curating in the Asia-Pacific
Hosted by Para Site

September 30:
Legacies: Acknowledging Histories, Imagining Futures
Hosted by Western Front

October 1:
The scene: future friendships, possibilities and partnerships
Hosted by CAST research group, School of Art, RMIT

All sessions will start at the same time:
Naarm (Melbourne) // 12–1:30pm
Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) // 2–3:30pm
Hong Kong // 10–11:30am
Vancouver // 7–8:30pm

The Region is made possible with support from the City of Melbourne, and RMIT University, Australia.

See here for further information: