In September, MwB director Laura Hassler will be in Australia to speak at several conferences and music conservatories, on how music can create transformative change within communities affected by war and armed conflict.
Public speaking engagements:
Music as Refuge: war, refugees, music: an artistic response to people on the move
Sept 12, 17:30: Australian Catholic University (ACU), Ryan Auditorium, James Carroll Building, 40 Edward Street, North Sydney
Abstract: This speech looks at the context of massive movements of refugees in today’s world in relation to the global issues of war, poverty and the climate crisis. From the perspective of socially engaged musicians, she explores the role of the arts in shining light on the contradictions of our societies, and the potential of music to help address the loss of home, culture and identity for people on the move.
War Divides, Music Connects: music as a tool for empathy
Sept 13, 16:15: Sydney Conservatorium, Room 2174, 1 Conservatorium Road, Sydney NSW 2000
Sept 17, 15:30: Australian Society for Music Education (ASME), Terrace Room, Level 6, Sir Llew Edwards Building (14), Campbell Rd, The University of Qld, St Lucia, Queensland 4072
Without borders: musicians as peacemakers
Sept 18: Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane
Abstract: This speech looks at the phenomenon of activist musicians, a new breed of social change advocates and grass-roots organizers. How can musicians position themselves in the world of development, humanitarianism, and political activism? What is the special and unique offering that music brings to the complicated global issues of war and peace, refugees, political and social exclusion or inclusion? Laura shares MwB’s evolving theory of change and tells some stories of an organization that straddles questions of evidence and ideology, research and (sometimes) the unexplainable.
Holding the Note: Music as a powerful force for transformative change in our world
Sept 21-22: University of Melbourne Collaboratory, Centre for Theology and Ministry, 29 College Crescent, Parkville VIC 3010
Abstract: As active and concerned human beings, how do we understand the state of our world and our species in these turbulent times? As musicians and music professionals, which core qualities of the art form we know and love can we access to contribute to saving lives, bridging divides, and healing the wounds of war and injustice? How do we connect effectively and appropriately with people affected by war and conflict? As artists and arts professionals, how do we frame our activism, our scholarship, our community involvement, our devotion to social change? Laura explores how musicians may be our era’s most powerful peacemakers.
In addition to these public events, renewed connections will be made with long-time friends and supporters: the Townsville Grammar School (whose music department has been organizing benefit concerts for MwB every year since 2011!) and the Scattered People project in Brisbane.
Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page for updates on Laura’s Australian trip!