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Neither the future of Australia’s Indigenous peoples nor the environment yet figure in the election campaign. In this E-dition reviews of political visual arts exhibitions and documentary filmmaking (image above from Kelrick Martin’s Prison Songs) keep us mindful of this, but art is busy now protecting itself too from government.

Today, 12.45-3.00pm, the streaming of an Artspeak National Arts Election Debate between Labor Shadow Arts Minister Mark Dreyfus, the Greens’ Adam Bandt and Government Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield effectively marks the beginning of the public campaign to rectify the appalling damage done to the arts by the Australian Government. The Greens and Labor have announced their arts policies, reinstating all or a large part of funds removed from the Australia Council, abolishing the Catalyst program and offering additional funds. There will be a return to a highly productive status quo if the government loses the election or has an unlikely change of heart.

Artists and organisations large and small are uniting to change the Government’s mind, if not its heart. The Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies (CAST) and Live Performance Australia (if pro a “reformed and transparent Catalyst”) have welcomed the Labor and Greens policies, especially for their support of the embattled small to medium arts sector.

Watch the National Arts Election Debate streamed here and ready yourself for the 17 June Arts Action Day, which you’ll being hearing about very soon. With an unprecedentedly united arts industry and sense of community, we might effect change, but need to add to our own the voices of our audiences.

Keith and Virginia

Activist art
POLITICAL PUNCH       Three exhibitions in Adelaide confirm that Australian political art is alive, kicking, inventive and deeply felt, reports Chris Reid.
Speed of Life
RUCKUS TAMES TIME        Sydney’s “disability-led” performance ensemble tackles the nightmare rush of the everyday with humour, drama and wisdom.
If Was
WHAT IF?      Choreographed by Stephanie Lake and Ross McCormack, Dancenorth’s bold new artistic experiment, IF_WAS_, opens this week in Townsville and then tours.
Mortal condition
DIGITAL DELUSIONS          Tension between our imperfect selves and idealised virtual alter egos is powerfully if unevenly played out in Larissa McGowan’s Mortal Condition, writes Ben Brooker.
On The Dox
DOCUMENTING EMOTION          At the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, Dan Edwards sees Kelrick Martin’s Prison Songs, a spirited documentary about Aboriginal incarceration, as an exemplar of how to forge cinematic empathy.
Kyle Page
KYLE PAGE    Dancenorth’s Artistic Director reveals the influences, adventures, theories and synchronicities that have shaped both his career and vision.
LOVE/HATE THE CITY        Composers reveal the pleasures and growing anxieties generated by the modern city in Melbourne’s Metropolis New Music Festival.
A mockumentary classic about bureaucratic bungling and corruption in the lead-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the ABC TV series (1998, 2000) is more relevant than ever. Offer closes 15 June.

RealTime E-dttions are published by Open City an Incorporated Association in New South Wales. Open City Inc is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy [VACS], an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. RealTime’s Principal Technology Partner is the national communications carrier, Vertel.

Opinions published in RealTime are not necessarily those of the Editorial Team or the Publisher. 

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