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Spring Encounters 2023: with(in) place

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

We are pleased to invite you to Spring Encounters 2023: with(in) place!

Spring Encounters provides a platform for researchers, activists and artists to connect in a relaxed setting of informal conversations and action. Its purpose is to break the boundaries of disciplines and institutions, creating cracks for open dialogue and the sprouting of ideas. Our program this year will be hosted in different locations across Melbourne, in collaboration with Monash Arts, Design and Architecture (MADA) and facilitated by Monash Graduate Association (MGA).

At Spring Encounters 2022, APR facilitated a series of thought-provoking conversations at Siteworks in Brunswick, a place we called home for approximately 8 months. As Siteworks closed for renovations, we found ourselves in search of place and community, both for ourselves and for the people with whom we've been connecting over the last 2 years.

Spring Encounters 2023 is a response to that transition. This year, we've designed these gatherings as a means to nurture our connections with place and, simultaneously, to highlight initiatives that are collaboratively shaping communities across Melbourne. From Preston Market to the Catalyst Social Centre, we hope that by the end of this journey, we will be able to entangle relationships, cultivate care, ground ourselves, and reimagine our work and lives with(in) place.

The encounters planned for this year are:

09 September | Make only radical plans

Meeting at Bell station | 10 to 12 pm

Facilitated by Zheng Chin (APR/Save Preston Market) + Steve Mintern (OFFICE)

With Baque Voador (Maracatu music group)

Radical planning questions existing power structures to prioritise social justice, sustainability, and community empowerment. By reimagining urban spaces and engaging in social transformation, radical communities seek to create more equitable and democratic environments. Join us as we walk towards Preston Market while we discuss initiatives such as the ‘Save The Preston Market’ action group and other movements led by local communities striving for social justice.


23 September | Taking shape: grassroots leadership in circularity

Meeting at Kensington Food Forest | 10 to 12:30 pm

Facilitated by Corey Ferguson (APR/Monash University)

With Jacqui van Heerden (Kensington Community Food Forest) + Dave Goodman (Kensington Town Hall Compost Hub)

Aspirations and implementations for a “Circular Economy” often take place (and remain) at the highest level of government and industry ideation, and beyond citizen and community input. However, it is at this grassroots level where circular economies (little “c” circularity) are already beginning to take shape and flourish as alternative food, waste, and social “circles” of resource exchange. Join us in Kensington for a day of action, conversation, and thought into the circular practices being learned at the community scale that can help inform more inclusive and effective adaptations at a wider level.


05 October | Finding place: positioning gig economy in cities

Gig Workers’ Hub at Micro-Labs | 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Facilitated by Nicolas Guerra Tao (APR/Monash University) + Andrew Copolov (Monash University)

With David Bissell (University of Melbourne)

In a world where gig economies arise and work informality becomes the norm, the very concept of place is undergoing a radical transformation. Join us for an engaging session that delves into the intricate relationship between the evolving world of work and the dynamic urban landscape. Together, we unravel the implications of the gig economy's rise on urban spaces, contemplating where workers carve out their place and forge communities within this shifting context.


27 October | Rivering the city

Meeting at Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve (172 Glen Huntly Rd, Brighton VIC 3186) | 10 to 12 pm

Facilitated by Alexandre Faustino (APR/RMIT University) + Ana Lara-Heyns (APR/Monash University)

Water is an inseparable part of our living experience on this Planet. But much of the modern dwelling in cities has hindered this fundamental connection and threatened the relations mediated by water not only with humans, but with more-than-human kins as well. However, the ideologies of human control expressed through devices of concrete, iron and asphalt are constantly challenged by the flows of water and the power of people working to restore its presence and memory within cities. Engage in thought-provoking discussions on how water's memory influences our connection to the past, impacts ecological systems, and shapes our understanding of identity and place in urban contexts.


12 November | This is how we do Praxis in Latin America

Catalyst Social Centre | 2 to 5 pm | Closing celebration!

Facilitated by Paloma Bugedo (APR/RMIT Placelab) + Nicolas Guerra Tao (APR/Monash University)

With Renata Bovo Peres (UFSCar/ Brazil) and Marisol Salinas (LASNET Australia).

Latin America has a rich history of social and political movements that have fought against colonialism, imperialism, authoritarianism, and various forms of oppression. This legacy has shaped a collective consciousness that emphasises the need for transformative praxis. Furthermore, Latin America has a tradition of popular education, liberation theology, and critical theory, which have influenced and nurtured the praxis approach within the region. The concepts of conscientization, participatory democracy, and grassroots organizing have been central to social movements and collective action in Latin America. Join us for a riveting exploration of praxis within the Latin context, as we delve into how our shared experiences continue to catalyse transformation, even when we find ourselves far from our homelands.

We are promoting a closing party on this day! More information coming soon.


Abstract submissions and HDR presentations

The call for HDRs to submit their abstracts depends on the session they are interested in. Please check the above. If you wish to participate as a presenter, please submit here a short abstract (250 words) describing the work you would like to present and inform us which session is your work most related to. The sessions welcome research in different stages of development, from conceptual ideas to more refined/final products. Each of the HDRs presenting in each session will have 15 minutes to talk and all discussions will be made at the end of the presentations.

Presenters will be notified 7 days before each session.

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