Protest Against Forgetting
Listen to the event here: https://soundcloud.com/yarralibraries/pecha-kuchas-protest-against-forgetting
WHAT IS A PECHA KUCHA?
For the uninitiated, Pecha Kucha is a presentation format with strict parameters. The format is 20 power point slides with 20 seconds allocated per slide. 6 minutes and 20 seconds in total to pitch an idea.
WHO INVENTED IT AND WHAT FOR?
Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture devised the format to stem the tide of art-speak and because in general, both believed that architects talk too much!
The first Pecha Kucha night was held in their bar/lounge in Tokyo in 2013 and have since become a global phenomenon powering multiple-speaker, face-paced events where ideas are exchanged and debate ensues.
CRASH-COURSE IN PECHA KUCHA
I was first introduced to the Pecha Kucha format through an arts management course I took at Melbourne Uni. Rachel Marsden, our lecturer and Nur Shkembi, our tutor for the subject, asked us to present our exhibition proposals using the format. (Pure evil). The format forced me to keep the proposal succinct and as I sped up and slowed down to keep pace with the images, I thought, this is such a real and raw challenge!
So, I thought, how fantastic would this be on a stage with ten consecutive speakers.
PECHA KUCHA MEETS YARRA
I met with Ammon and Phillipa from Herestudio - the people responsible for the Melbourne branch of Pecha Kucha - and we all agreed to do a Yarra event. The idea was to set-up a communal debate about us, the local and what had passed on the streets, neighbourhoods and could not be forgotten. It was a refusal to forget the past.
THE THEMATICS OF THE THING
The title and theme were adapted from Hans Ulrich Obrist's notion of the museum as "a protest against forgetting." He argues that the historicism that the museum performs is a form of resistance against the erosive affects of time . His position re-frames the somewhat traditionalist or stale notion we can have around these institutions.
Such a position seemed a perfect fit for our project and captured the local Fitz area as a site of activism with present gentrification threatening to erase a multifaceted past. So, we wanted to send a call-out to local people and ask them to participate. I also wanted to approach libraries as living-archives with events like these preserving an oral record of the local past.
Bargoonga Nganjin North Fitzroy Library, 182 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy, VIC 3068
Date: 6.30pm – 8.30pm Wednesday 4th October, 2017
PROTEST AGAINST FORGETTING
In our culture, the process of forgetting is systematic. Indigenous histories and the basic human right of refuge are denied. Keep cups are carried, while we practice collective amnesia about what science predicts for our planet. At the local level we forget the buildings and hangout spots that once defined us, the activists that fought for us, and the stories that shaped us.
In this campaign against forgetting, what must be remembered?
Nic Low // Writer, Artist & Arts Organiser
Katrina Lolicato // The Good Room
Arnold Zable // Writer, Storyteller, Educator & Advocate
David Nichols // Melbourne School of Design
Jason Tamiru // Malthouse Theatre
Liz Connor // Monash University