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Emotions research catalyst for successful partnership

Emotions research catalyst for successful partnership

Image: Message Sticks installation. Image credit: Erika von Kaschke.

Emotions research was the catalyst for a successful research-based project that has led to the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions being awarded the prestigious 2017 CHASS Australia Prize for Distinctive Work in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

The Centre of Excellence, based at The University of Western Australia, collaborated with the Kalbarri Development Association to create the Zest Festival, which ran from 2012 to 2016. The Centre’s work on the Zest Festival is distinctive for its engagement with a rural community, in a cultural project with substantial artistic, intellectual and emotional scope.

“This recognition of the Centre's work in the Zest Festival shows the value of long-term funding in building research-based projects that can have major community impact,” Professor Andrew Lynch, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotionssaid.

Inspired to commemorate the encounters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) with the Australian coast, the Zest ‘journey’ mirrored the VOC trade route, annually focusing on specific geo-historical spheres of cultural influence from the Netherlands to Japan.

The Centre of Excellence was chosen from amongst 83 nominations for this award. They developed research materials, artistic prompts and workshops to inspire community learning and reflection on the emotional heritage that connects international contact histories with contemporary Australian society. The Centre translated its research into annual education packs with cross-disciplinary lessons for students from kindergarten to year 10.

The Centre of Excellence funded artistic incursions to the school and supported projects amongst the extended community, culminating in broad participation in performances and exhibitions with multicultural, indigenous and historical themes. Students were exposed to a broader range of cultural experiences than the town is usually able to offer, supporting them in their development of confidence and empathy.

The Zest Festival foregrounded the historical and contemporary voices of the indigenous Nhanda community in Kalbarri. It fostered national and international networks exposing Kalbarri to cultural exchanges including the tangible exchange of artefacts and multimedia resources.

View a short documentary about the festival.

 

Media issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

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