River of lives

Law, S, Grossman, M and Spark, C 2015, River of lives, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report River of lives
Author(s) Law, S
Grossman, M
Spark, C
Year of publication 2015
Publisher Victoria University
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)
Abstract/Summary The suburb of Footscray, in the urban heartland of Melbourne's Western region, is a neighbourhood with a very rich multi-layered heritage undergoing a series of rapid and profound change in its demographics, social and cultural life, and built environment. The Maribyrnong River, a major waterway running right through Footscray, is part of that change, both shaping and being impacted by the ways in which Footscray residents experience and take hold of life in their local area. In order to understand the ways in which diverse communities in Footscray engage with the Maribyrnong River, this collaborative combined arts-research project mounted by Victoria University's Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing and Maribyrnong City Council's Arts and Culture Department explored the hidden charms, histories, experiences and possibilities of the river as understood by local residents. Drawing on innovative methodologies based on approaches such as Photovoice and narrative research models, the project produced a public exhibition at VU Metro West. The research also served as the basis for this report on the project findings. These findings are intended for use by Maribyrnong City Council to commission further artworks for the public benefit of the local community and to inform strategic thinking and planning more generally about how the River will thrive in future as a vital asset for the local community and for the City of Maribyrnong as a whole. A number of recommendations are made below in relation to this dimension of the project outcomes. The project findings are also intended to support academic articles that further consider and contextualise the issues raised by the project in terms of how urban rivers such as the Maribyrnong play a role in community sense of wellbeing and cohesion when high levels of cultural and socio-economic diversity are present in local areas.
Commissioning body Maribyrnong City Council
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