Rapid Response Australian Scholarship Opportunity

Artist Keith Armstrong from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is calling for qualified candidates to apply for a targeted PHD paid Scholarship.

Applications Due: 28 February 2017

The candidate will potentially work between Brisbane, Australia and Bloemfontein, South Africa on the project, Re-Future (http://embodiedmedia.com/homeartworks/re-future) developed by Dr Keith Armstrong (Associate Director of the QUT Creative Lab Research Centre). The Re-Future project coalesces with the aims of the Social and Ecological Practices Research Group at QUT which seek to understand, and demonstrate how transdisciplinary creative actions can best engage and affect the conditions of our contemporary world, with a specific focus upon people and species most affected by conditions of rapid change, conflict, racial tension, discrimination and environmental distress. Re-Future is a partnership between Dr Armstrong, the QUT Creative Lab Research Centre, the University of the Free State (South Africa), the Vrystaat Art Festival and Qala Pelang Tala (Start Living Green) social change initiative.

Is this for you?

  • Are you an artist-activist, a laterally thinking community development implementer, a transdisciplinary creative, a digital media artist focussed upon change-making practices, or some other kind of a passionate social, architecture, engineering or ecological change maker who would like to be paid to do a creatively driven PhD, working between South Africa and Australia?
  • Are you interested in applying your creative thinking (from any or several disciplines) and experimental practices to investigate new kinds of sustaining and regenerative futures?
  • How can social justice structures be influenced through creative ecological practices to enable marginalised individuals to influence their own livelihood future
  • Are you prepared to work in some of the least resourced communities in South Africa, in collaboration with leading NGOs, artists, academics, students and the township communities that this project serves?
  • Whilst we cover all doctoral fees and provide a reasonably living allowance for three years, (potentially extendable to 3.5). You will need to fund your own travel.

So who would you be working with?

Ok, but are you eligible?

  • Full applications due by 28 February 2017 – to be worked up with qualified supervisors, we will provide
  • Must meet English language requirements by the application closing date.
  • Must be able to start at latest by July 2017
  • Applicants can be currently situated anywhere globally but need to be able to travel to do extensive field work in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and also spend time in Brisbane, Australia at the state ofthe art new QUT Creative Lab Research Centre.
  • Full details here: https://www.qut.edu.au/study/fees-and-scholarships/scholarships-and-prizes/qut-postgraduate-research-award-qutpra

Need more context?

We are having a devastating effect on the planet. Climate change has moved from theoretical concept to pressing reality, with truly global affects. Climate scientists agree we have triggered a new era called the age of the Anthropocene where humans have become the main drivers behind planetary changes. The negative impacts on communities worldwide, and especially communities in developing countries such as South Africa are significant. In South Africa, climate challenges are compounded by historical contexts of apartheid, unemployment, poverty, crime, disability and widespread dependency on government interventions in marginalised communities. Many marginalised communities are still deprived of access to water, electricity, housing, education and basic health care. This begs the question, what innovative solutions can bridge the realities of climate change while maintaining the concept of human rights embedded in South Africa’s progressive constitution. A combination of transdisciplinary approaches will be needed to solve some of these problems that the country faces, which may require stepping outside the existing comfort zones and testing unconventional creative possibilities for making a difference at the grassroots levels. Crucially we need innovative solutions that envision a world beyond sustainability, focussing on regenerative livelihoods that are resilient to climate change. A regenerative approach describes processes that renew, restore, and revitalize communities. Regenerative systems aim to create positive, united living heritages for our future generations and ourselves.

What is Re-Futuring?

Most simply, Re-futuring is the act of ‘giving time back to the future’. If we think of time left (for ours and other species now and into the future) as being a medium we can manipulate, then any concerted actions that help increase that time left are considered potential acts of re-futuring - as opposed to those that reduce possibilities for those who come after us – i.e. acts of De-Futuring.
What will you therefore be contributing towards?

The aim of this experimental research program is to understand how transdisciplinary creative action that tests new paradigms, ideas & options might assist in inventing viable ‘break-through’ methods that aid regenerative capacity – both in South Africa and more generally globally.

And who would you be working with?

Keith Armstrong: Associate Director of the QUT Creative Lab Research Centre and member of the Social and Ecological Practices Group, media artist, researcher and director of Embodiedmedia Dr. Keith Armstrong from Brisbane Australia. www.embodiedmedia.com
Anita Venter who leads the Qala Phelang Tala (Start Living Green!) social change initiative supported by her role as a researcher at the University of the Free State, Centre for Development Support. http://www.ufs.ac.za/econ/departments-and-divisions/centre-for-development-support- home/general/staff?pid=j13AcR333js%3d
The Program For Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD) led by Senior Curator of the Johannes Stegman Art Gallery, Angela De Jesus and Director of the Vrystaat Kunstefees/Arts Festival/Tsa-Botjhaba, Dr. Ricardo Peach.

Are you the right artist-researcher for this significant challenge?

If so contact Dr. Keith Armstrong immediately – with overview of your background and thoughts, interests and enthusiasms at k.armstrong@qut.edu.au

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