Reshaping the world in Melbourne

When the time comes that we all have to roll up our sleeves and rethink our unsustainable culture, I’m hoping it will look something like Memefest 2014. This convergence gave a glimpse of the energies that are unleashed when talented people with a common purpose get together to work towards progressive social change.

memefest-swin1Running since 2001, Memefest is a training ground for those around the world who create “socially-responsive art and communication”. It assembles a jury of global thought leaders who evaluate visual, digital and written submissions from over 26 countries and reward best entries.

Gathered on the grounds of Swinburne University in Melbourne this year were roughly 60 activists, academics and professionals that Memefest had brought together for a series of presentations and workshops. Cool people that were met and exchanged with included: Memefest founder Oliver Vodeb; Auntie Hazel, Uncle Albert, Sam Burch, Kristy-Lee and Jade (members of the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy and Grandmothers Against Removals); Ad-Buster Kyle Magee; Anti-Artist Ren Fah; Nomadic Geek-Artist Fee Plumley; Producer and Composer Andrew Garton; Digital Artist and Prof Scott Townsend; Photographer Alan Hill; Designers Kevin Yuen-Kit Lo, Sandy Kaltenborn, Rok Klemencic; Artist-Activist Alana Hunt; Swinburne profs Lisa Gye and Darren Tofts; and Goucher College prof Daniel Marcus.

Workshops focused on helping Australia’s Aboriginal/First Nations community with its struggles. Many minds were blown during the conference as both white Australians and foreign attendees learned first hand of the oppression these people still face on a weekly basis. Art and communications projects were conceived and executed with the active collaboration of Aboriginal team members.memefest-swin2Thanks to Rok Klemencic for his photos!

My presentation there focused on the dynamics of power in dialogue between citizens and established powers and how advocate groups can now gain this power through social network mobilization. Here is a Slideshare copy below:

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