RADIO HOLIDAY is a 2 year community based arts intervention project that encourages a dialogue between young people from the North West Coast and older people in both urban and isolated, remote Tasmanian communities. Narratives from disappearing coastal shack communities will be collected by the young people who will work with professional audio artists to create sound pieces for local & National radio broadcast. These pieces will sit alongside original artworks created by 6 prominent Australian artists at an exhibition that will tour the State as part of Ten Days on the Island Festival, 2005. The material will be included in a public forum to generate positive debate about urban planning and the future of these small communities in the future life of the Tasmanian community.
Objectives and delivery of the project
Young people from the West Coast and North West Region have been identified as disengaging from education, training and community. This project aims to engage with some of these young people:
Identify, mentor and divert young people at risk of drug abuse, associated crime and disengagement from education, training & community
Enhance, build and strengthen support networks and relationships throughout both urban and remote communities. Provide the opportunity for positive individual change and change in community attitudes towards the young people involved and encourage long term, collaborative and flexible community-based approaches to issues.
Document through visual arts and radio the changing culture of shack life in remote Tasmanian communities.
Benefits of the project to the Tasmanian Community
Building the Community Cultural Development skills of people in Burnie, North West region and remote communities - Increasing capacity to enable them to design & deliver future projects & address relevant issues in their own communities.
An opportunity to experiment with different education techniques and increase literacy amongst young people and take-up in education
Intergenerational understanding between older and younger Tasmanian and collection of narratives and stories that would otherwise be lost in the community
Mentoring of young people in the interviewing and documenting the stories of older people and composition of radio pieces that will be used to facilitate community discussion at a public forum
Linked to Tasmania's premier arts festival Ten Days on the Island, with the support of ABC Radio and Tas. Regional Arts
Opportunity to bring 6 of the best visual artists in the country to work in the 5 communities and mentor young people having Tasmania recognised on a national platform
Creating opportunities for artists to work with a broader range of diverse and unique individuals and communities thus encouraging an ongoing commitment from artists to utilise CCD approaches and to work with local communities.
Young people and emerging artists, coming from a low skills base, will develop technical and CCD skills, experience and networking skills that will have a huge impact on the individual's future choices and role within their local community. The project will build on existing skills and introduce and develop innovative approaches to working within the local community on future projects within Burnie, the North West region and wider Tasmanian community.
Key project partners include:
Burnie City Council Hellyer College
Ten Days on the Island Circular Head Council & Crayfish Creek community
Dorset Council & Tomohawk community West Coast Council & Trial Harbour community
Huon Valley Council & Southport community Tasmania Police
Tas. Regional Arts Parks & Wildlife & Couta Rocks Community
Big hART Inc. TAFE
The Big hART process for creating work through participation with people who may have a low skills base is rigorous and highly developed. These processes have been developed over the last 12 years and these skills are required by the mentoring artists.
Across Australia, shacks in isolated locations have held a unique place in our culture. They are often the keepers of secrets, the location for celebration, symbols of individualism over the state, improvised architecture, hideouts, places for growing up, and sponges for nostalgia.
As avarism sweeps the coastal fringe, shacks are falling victim to the national retreat from community to individualism. As we turn inward, we are concentrating on the must have' life style makeovers of our own backyard. This now includes a piece of the coastline or the shack'. As soon as these are bought they too are transformed architecturally into the ideal beachside retreat, complete with fences and power and phone and alarms and no-trespassing signs other defenses for the individualist. Through this pressure, shack culture is changing and in many places being lost.
By working with young people many of whom will be from disadvantaged backgrounds with families outside the loop of the real estate boom, this project will take more than just a nostalgic look at the passing of the shack', it will bring practical skills to young artists in remote areas.
Big hART would like to invite you and your community to be a part of an exciting arts project that will document the stories & memories from some of Tasmania's most unique shack communities. Across Tasmania, shacks in isolated locations have held a unique place in our lives and culture. They are often the keepers of secrets, the location for celebration, places for growing up and sponges for nostalgia. But with changes to population, urban planning and lifestyle, there is a risk of losing the stories that are an important part of our history. We would like to work with young people, local communities, organizations and media to ensure that these memories are captured.
We are seeking stories, memories, film footage, photographs and anything else, including 3 older style caravans, which will all help to reflect the culture of these diverse communities, both past and present. Like many Tasmanians, I have fond memories of visiting friends shacks, camping in paddocks or in the Boobyallah bushes on the coast. There was a time where the generational handing down of shacks was a given, but this has changed. RADIO HOLIDAY is an opportunity for these stories to be recorded and celebrated.
Big hART is an award winning Tasmanian Arts/Community Cultural Development non profit organization that began in Burnie in 1992. Since then we have worked with more than 4000 young people and families in more than 28 communities throughout the country. We look forward to working with communities and young people to collect stories from Trial Harbour, Couta Rocks, Crayfish Creek, Tomohawk & Southport. These stories will be produced into radio pieces for local and National broadcast, and will be exhibited in older style caravans, alongside artworks created by some of Australia's most respected artists, including Tasmania's Kit Hiller, Rick Eaves and Rebecca Lavis.
We have begun contacting past & present residents, local councils and organizations linked to the areas, and as a Tasmanian charity would appreciate any support you could give, such as a mention in your community news section or even a story about the project. Project Creator and Big hART's Artistic Director, Scott Rankin is available for interviews & there may be an opportunity to meet with artists including 2004 Dobel Prize winner, Garry Shead & 1999 Archibald Prize winner Euan Macleod.
Big hART workers will be based on the North West Coast & I can be contacted for further information on Big hART or RADIO HOLIDAY, on 03 6261 3812 or 0438 438 673.