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(Un)settled Writing Workshops

November 2021 – March 2021 

The (Un)settled Writing Workshops are a series of online monthly writing sessions where friends and members of IPCS, across all levels of writing experience, come together to experiment with modes of writing that do not perpetuate reinvestments in settler ontologies or depend on apocalyptic fantasies.

The workshops will cover four broad themes: home, geoengineering, multirealism, and Indigenous futurism. Together, we will investigate: 

  • What does home mean in a climate changed world? 
  • What does it mean to belong after apocalypse? 
  • What is it we refer to when we speak of realism? 
  • What modes/styles of writing can speak back or resist settler ontologies? 
  • What can we learn from those who have resisted through writing before us?

We will explore these questions through a series of writing exercises that experiment with literary strategies such as parody, counterfactual writing and magical realism to critically interrogate settler colonial ontologies. Exercises will also ask participants to walk their places and consider how they have been made, inform their understanding of belonging. In this manner, these workshops follow a research methodology similar to that outlined Emily Potter and Brigid Magner in their work on the Mallee (2019) and practised by the J.M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice’s Oratunga Winter School.

To join please send a brief expression of interest to Jack Kirne and Carlos Morreo by Friday 22 October.  

Workshop 1: Home

In this workshop, participants will be asked to interrogate how they belong on stolen land. The workshop will introduce participants to dominant Australian mythologies with reference to the work of several Australian poets and essayists. In a series of exercises, the workshop will then introduce writing techniques that have sought to denaturalise these mythologies, such as parody, magical realism, and counterfactual writing. 

Workshop 2: Geoengineering 

This workshop will invite participants to explore their places and write a series of brief reflections that consider: how has this space been engineered to privilege particular ways of being in place. What forms of life flourish in this space; and which do not? These observations will then be played off against colonial modes of place-making such as land clearing and emergent discourses of geoengineering as a climate change mitigation strategy. 

Workshop 3: Multirealism 

Natalie Osborne has written that ‘The monorealism that dominates Western thought makes an apocalypse the apocalypse. Multirealism makes apocalypses possible, and while that is depressing in its own way, plurality means possibilities.’ (148) By asking participants to consider what other worlds exist counter to, or in contrast with the demands of late capitalism, this workshop will interrogate what ways of seeing the world might emerge when we give up the promise of renewing the colonial project of civilisation. 

Workshop 4: Indigenous futurism 

In this final workshop, participants will be asked to engage with several contemporary Indigenous writers, including Ellen Van Neervan, Alexis Wright, Tony Birch and Kim Scott. Building upon our discussions across the first three workshops, this workshop will consider how these works expand and subvert our understandings of belonging, the environment, and reality. 

The workshop series will conclude with a special one-off presentation that will showcase the work generated throughout the sessions. 

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Date: 4 November 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Location: November - Zoom
December - IPCS

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creative writing workshops