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Art and public health: tackling climate change

Friday 23 February 2018

Climate change is a multifaceted challenge that requires an urgent and creative response, reaching across different ways of thinking. This course features artists and scientists whose work relates to the complex issue of climate change, and aims to foster new initiatives and connections in this important task.

This course builds on 2017's inaugural summerschool course on art and public health, in which we introduced the many ways in which art and public health can intersect. Art has a unique power to surprise, provoke and communicate, often leading us to cast a critical eye on social and cultural norms. Both Public Health and art can play an important role in commentating on complex social and environmental issues like climate change, and in doing so can provoke action.

This course will appeal to those who are interested in creative ways to respond to climate change and to engage with and mobilise others who seek a climate friendly future.

Topics covered  

1. Public Health and Art in dialogue
2. Communication and dissemination: Starting a conversation
3. The public sphere: public art and the public good
4. Activist and political art: dispossession, society, and environment

Style of course

Symposium – Multi-speaker presentations and interactive panel discussion in lecture theatre setting.

Who should attend?  

This course is aimed at starting a productive conversation between artists, curators, public officials such as those working for local or central government who are interested in what role art can play in public space, members of civic society or business who are interested in the interplay between art and society, public health practitioners or academics who wish to think more broadly about how to reach people, and people who are interested in how art can be a motivator of social change.

By the end of this course participants should have the knowledge/skills to understand the primary links between art and public health, understand the key debates around the social good of art in public spaces, have some ideas about how art and public health can work together to reach more people, and think about where art might be able to say what science can’t.

Teaching staff  

  • This course is convened by Jenny Ombler and Sarah Donovan from University of Otago, Wellington. They are currently confirming an inspiring list of speakers

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 20 December 2017.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now