Art & Activism – how to imagine in an unreal world

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Image: Sharlene Cu

We are delighted to be partnering with Melbourne Conversations to co-present Art & Activism – how to imagine in an unreal world.

Meet the next generation who are advocating for systemic solutions to climate change. Youth activists are leading the charge for urgent policy and behaviour shifts, and asking what role creativity can play in helping us heed generational responsibility for the climate crisis.

Our material world is rapidly destabilising under the throes of the climate crisis, transforming into something entirely unrecognisable. As we are forced to confront an increasingly intangible world – one of previously unthinkable levels of connection, facilitated by what can only be described as digital autocracies – our foundational understandings of self and community are uprooted.

What is the role of creativity in generating hope and providing a new means to understand our current circumstances?

How can we cut through or have impact in an overstimulated world?


This event is helmed by four extraordinary young artist activists we have had the pleasure of developing a potential new work with.

Jean Hinchliffe founded the Sydney contingent of School Strike 4 Climate in 2018.

Jay Patel has been a part of activist groups since early high school, including School Strike 4 Climate.

Ella Simons is a 15 year old activist who recently represented Australian youth as a delegate at the Youth Climate PreCOP26 conference in Milan.

Theo Boltman is deeply passionate about climate and transgender activism with their articles published in The Age and Demure Magazine.

Alex Kelly is an artist, filmmaker, producer and activist based on Dja Dja Warrung land, in Castlemaine, ‘Australia’. Working across film, theatre, communications strategy and troublemaking, Alex purposefully connects the disciplines of art and social change.


This event will be AUSLAN interpreted. It will also be available to watch with captions on the Melbourne Conversations Youtube following the live event.

About Melbourne Conversations

Owned and delivered by the City of Melbourne, Melbourne Conversations is a monthly series of bold talks on the subjects that matter to Melbourne. Founded in 2001, this series is the city’s longest running forum for truly public conversation. With talks and panels on the third Wednesday of each month, Melbourne Conversations connects the people of Melbourne to bold ideas, and to each other. Melbourne Conversations are free, and run in person and online.