Stories from the Crevice Communities

Symposium 7-8 December, 2022

Link to the Crevice Communities Exhibition 2021


We pay our respects to all First Nations elders both past and present from the lands upon which Charles Sturt University is located: the Wiradjuri, Ngunawal, Gundungarra and Biripai peoples of Australia.

Artwork by Bärbel Ulrich
Image courtesy Bärbel Ullrich

The Creative Practice Circle research group invites expressions of interest in presenting (in person or online) at the Stories from the Crevice Communities Symposium, at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia 7-8, December 2022.

Abstracts that relate to the symposium theme should be submitted to by June 1, 2022.

Symposium theme

With the ongoing crises of the Anthropocene – drought, fire, flood, and pandemic – it can be argued that the arts, humanities and critical enquiry are more important than ever, both here in Australia and elsewhere in the world. However, these are increasingly under threat.  Many artists and academic researchers who incorporate creative practice in their methodology, as well as practitioners in the creative industries, feel they are operating on thin soil, or perhaps even falling between the cracks. Approaching this predicament as a productive space, the Creative Practice Circle from Charles Sturt University is currently focused on the concept of “crevice communities”, described by the MERE Project of Antioch University as “small pockets of vegetation uniquely adapted to thrive in the harsh conditions of the rocky terrain of exposed mountain summits.”

Crevice communities are the overlooked, the marginal, the very small. The Creative Practice Circle is committed to explorations of the particular over the generic and the small over the large, using whatever materials come to hand for our research and production (bricolage).

Members of the Creative Practice Circle include artists engaged in creative practice as research; academic researchers using creative practice research methodologies and practitioners in the creative industries. Some members overlap as artists, academic researchers and/or creative industries practitioners and/or move between these areas.

We are interested in interdisciplinary inquiry and collaborations that reach out to explore crevice communities with scientists, artists, academics and members of alternative and/or marginalised communities. We ask:

What can be found in the “cracks and hollows” that might help us to create a world worth living in?

In particular, how might creative practice as research make a significant contribution to current discussions about the environment, resilience, and health, including mental health?

While this provocation emanates from regional eastern Australia, we are interested in perspectives and creative responses to these questions from other places.

Areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to:

  • First Peoples/Nations cultures, histories and perspectives
  • Threatened species and habitats
  • Rural and remote communities
  • Marginalised communities facing discrimination eg people with disability, LGBTQIA+, women’s groups, minority cultural and linguistic communities
  • Alternative and activist communities
  • Small and precarious ecological communities in “hidden pockets” e.g. travelling stock routes; abandoned cemeteries; disused quarries and mines
  • The adaptation of arts practice to survive despite defunding and political abandonment
  • Ongoing national and international participation in creative practice despite the contraction of degree programs and support in universities
  • The revitalisation of localism

Types of presentation may include (or combine) but are not limited to:

  • Academic presentations
  • Performative pieces (eg poetry, theatre)
  • Fiction and creative non-fiction
  • Multimedia
  • Visual arts

Abstracts (250-300 words) to be submitted to by June 1, 2022.

Note that abstracts are sought for a symposium presentation of 20 minutes either in person on the Wagga Campus of Charles Sturt University, or via Zoom. Abstracts for research posters may also be submitted, but this option is available only to those able to be on the Wagga Campus for the symposium.

Notification of acceptance of abstracts will be given by July 31, 2022.

Link to the Crevice Communities Exhibition 2021