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CREATEC Weekly Seminar Series - Associate Professor Debbie Rodan and Associate Professor Panizza Allmark

Thursday, 01 June 2017


Presenter: Associate Professor Debbie Rodan (Co-authors: Dr Jane Mummery and Dr Cathy Henkel)

Title: The charity model is broken: Crowdfunding as a way to democratize, diversify and grow funding for social change?

Biography: Debbie Rodan is Associate Professor in the Media & Cultural Studies at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. Debbie is author of Identity and Justice: Conflicts, Contradictions and Contingencies (2004), co-author of Disability, Obesity and Ageing: Popular Media Identifications (2014) and co-author of Activism and Digital Culture in Australia (forthcoming 2017). Her work has been published in various national and international academic journals. Debbie specializes in digital media with a particular focus on activist’s use of digital culture in Australia, public attitudes to animal welfare, and online audience forums on obesity.

Abstract: Crowdfunding has become a billion dollar business for the digital platforms that enable it. Although crowdfunding has over a decade’s history of being used to fund a variety of individual and collective projects – most usually artistic or entrepreneurial – more recently there has been an uptake by individuals and groups wishing to effect social change. In broader calls for collective action and social change, crowdfunding as a mechanism is fully reliant on digital networks and culture for the achievement of socio-political objectives. It is the capacity to tap into personal networks and ‘like-minded’ people – via social media networks, email and Internet – that crowdfunding platforms have become a way of reformatting funding for social change. According to platforms specifically focused on social change (such as and others) the charity model is broken; as Henkel (2017) and others claim “people will turn off if it is going to make them depressed”. We examine the productive potential of Australian platforms such as Pozible (2010) and Chuffed (2013) to enable environmental activist and social change organisations to raise funds – successfully – to finance projects ranging from: protecting local birds, native and wild animals; saving wetlands and forests; producing documentaries; and fighting for legal change.

Presenter: Associate Professor Panizza Allmark

Title: Statues, the Swan River and Surveillance

Biography: Associate Professor Panizza Allmark is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities (and coordinator of Media & Cultural Studies). Panizza is the chief editor of the internationally recognised journal, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, published by Taylor and Francis. Panizza has also been an invited speaker and given plenary and keynotes in the UK, US, Australia and Indonesia, in which she has discussed her work in the field of photography, visual culture, identity, feminism and urban space. She has published fifteen book chapters and journal articles over the last ten years. Over the last fifteen years Panizza has also worked as a documentary photographer and has spent time across Asia, Europe, North and South America. Panizza is also a recipient of an ARC grant on disrupting the communication of intergenerational welfare dependency.

Abstract: Around the Swan River waterfront in Perth, Western Australia, there are two public art statues that reflect the heritage of the area. The two statues are at different gateways to the city of Perth. Both statues commemorate the space and sense of purpose of the specific sites. The statues have also attracted much media attention and thought-provoking community interaction. Yet, they have engaged the community in disparate ways. The statue of Eliza, a female swimmer, is on the western corridor to the city of Perth, whereas the statue of Yagan, an early local indigenous leader, is on the eastern side. The discourses surrounding the two statues are quite contrary. I argue that this difference pertains to gender and racial narratives. Moreover, it relates to colonisation and the history of Perth. I will explore the social inclusion of Eliza as a woman, and what seems like the social exclusion of Yagan as an indigenous male. There is the difference of veneration versus denigration. This seems to follow that “public art that is developed through the effort of local governments” and other agencies “does not necessarily turn out the way that was intended, alternative meanings and practices might emerge” (Sharp et Al 2005, 1015). Importantly in very different ways, the statues of Yagan and Eliza have enticed community engagement and the reclaiming of public space to display hegemonic attitudes.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, 7 June 2017
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 10, Room 10.308
Cost: Free
Light lunch will be provided


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