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August at ADI

August at ADI

A look back at what we’ve been up to over the last month.

Although COVID-19 has put the brakes on fieldwork and face-to-face interviews, ADI’s researchers have continued researching, writing and contributing to debate, as Melbournians continue to work remotely.

Last week, ADI hosted a Public Policy Forum looking at the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of Australia. The event was moderated by Lydia Khalil and the panel included Prof Marcia Langton AM, ABC journalist Bridget Brennan, Dr Berhan Ahmed, CEO of the African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services, and Adongwot Manyoul, a South Sudanese youth advocate working in community development and research. The discussion explored the lived experience of people of colour in Australia, the local and global importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the influence of media on racism and activist movements, among many other aspects of the movement. You can watch the video of this insightful panel discussion here.

In August, ADI launched our new Policy Briefing Papers series. The series draws on the expertise within ADI to examine important issues facing Australia today. The purpose of the papers is to inform public debate and policy discussion and to set out practical proposals that will help develop solutions to complex issues. The first paper, by Jehonathan Ben and Prof Yin Paradies, examines how the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant increases in racist and xenophobic sentiments, which disproportionately affects migrants and other minority racial/ethnic groups socially, economically and health-wise, and proposes practical policy responses to address these growing issues. The second paper, by Prof Anita Harris, looks at the ways young people use the internet, digital and social media, and mobile technology as their primary means for social and civic connection and everyday political participation and calls for policies that better reflect and harness this engagement. Read the ADI Policy Briefing Papers here.

ADI member Dr Usha Rodrigues contributed to the ‘Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories?’ report, which was released in August. The study surveyed inclusion and representation of culturally diverse news and current affairs presenters, commentators and reporters on Australian television and found that 75% of presenters were Anglo-Celtic, whereas non-European and Indigenous presenters only made up around 15%, despite making up around 25% of Australia’s population. This report has already kicked off a debate, with coverage on Q&A, in The Australian, The Huffington Post, Open Forum, B&T Magazine, TV Tonight, Media Diversity Australia and ABC’s Media Watch. Read more from Dr Rodrigues about the report and the findings here.

A special issue of Fabrications, the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia, has recently been published. The journal is edited by A/Prof Mirjana Lozanovska, ADI member and lecturer in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment. This special issue of Fabrications, on ‘Aesthetic Anxiety’, is primarily concerned with the anxieties aroused by migration. Aesthetic Anxiety, as described and dissected in the issue, refers to both the prevalent anxieties connected with migrant experiences of inhabitation, as well the anxieties of state protection. The issue includes selected papers from two related workshops supported by ADI. The first – Aesthetic Anxiety, held in 2017 – generated a national compilation of academic research on migrant architecture. A second workshop on Multicultural Architecture, held in 2018, focussed on application and exchanges across organisations – the municipalities, Immigration Museum, Lovell Chen, community organisations, key academic scholars – and Deakin University. The issue includes an article by fellow ADI member Michele Lobo.

Finally, congratulations to Dr Billy Griffiths on winning the Max Crawford Medal. This medal, awarded by the Australian Academy of the Humanities, is awarded to an Australian-based early-career scholar whose research and publications “make an exceptional contribution to the understanding of their discipline by the general public”. You can read more about Dr Griffiths and the award here.


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