In the Time of Refuge: A Collection of Writings and Reflections on Art, Disaster and Communities


In the Time of Refuge
David Pledger and Nikos Papastergiadis (eds.)

In this timely collection of essays and artistic works, we gain a spherical perspective on the role of the arts in addressing the challenge of climate change through the concept of refuge. This book follows from a pioneering five-year program of artistic experimentation and community action called Refuge in which artists, Indigenous and civic leaders worked side-by-side with experts in disaster management. Through their creative and engaged collaborations, it was discovered that refuge is not only created by coming together but that the process of being together leads to the creation of new knowledge about refuge.

This collection reflects on the untapped and emergent forms of refuge. It documents the practices of resilience and resistance and reveals the vital role of new ambient or lateral forms of communication. In these times of crisis and in a context of entrenched divisions and precarity, experts have recognised that a top-down authoritarian voice will not be sufficient or effective. In the Time of Refuge is thus both a meditation on the need for public spaces for assembly and a glimpse into the inventive capacity for survival.

Conversation Subjects: Taungurung Elder Uncle Larry Walsh, Boon Wurrung Senior Elder, N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, Lorna Hannan, Latai  Taumoepeau, Harry Lee Shang Lun, Keg de Souza, Cass Lynch, Jen Rae, Tara Prowse, Sarah Rowbottam, Kate Sulan, Faye Bendrups, Angharad Wynne-Jones, Steve Cameron, Christine Drummond.

Project Lead: David Pledger
Administration: Ying Zhang and Sophia Marinos
Copy editor: Sarah Rowbottam
Design: Ying Zhang

ISBN: 978-94-92302-81-6

Institute of Network Cultures

Refuge Publication Project was commissioned by City of Melbourne through Arts House in partnership with the Research Unit of Public Cultures, Melbourne University and the generous support of Emergency Management Victoria.

This publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit

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