How can we imagine the future when we can’t see it?

    18-19 October 2019

Download the final conference schedule


Renata Salecl – Slovenia

Renata Salecl is the author of ‘On Anxiety’ and ‘The Tyranny of Choice’. She is a global authority on the tyranny of choice, the illusion of individual freedom and the intersection of contemporary politics and emotion.

Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis of Law at the School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology at the faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Due to a family emergency, Renata Salecl is no longer able to travel to Australia. A new panel of speakers will shortly be announced for her keynote slot. We will endeavour to make available a recording of the paper Renata has written for the conference. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Claire Doherty – United Kingdom

Claire Doherty is a producer, writer and curator, and was founder Director of the international arts producing organisation, Situations, which over 15 years spearheaded new approaches to arts in the public realm.

Known for its innovative approach to place-based commissioning and social engagement, Situations also challenged conventional approaches to public art through its thought leadership and publishing – most notably the ‘New Rules of Public Art’.

From 2017-19, as Director, Claire took Arnolfini through an 18-month transformation, repositioning this 50-year old institution as a new kind of civic space and reconnecting with its home city, Bristol.

How do we cultivate future thinking—creatively, cognitively and socially?

Can culture create ways to address future anxiety, when political and clinical institutions fall short?

Where can we create spaces for vulnerability, care and hope for the future?

What is the work of the audience in reshaping culture and institutions?

Uti Kulintjaku

An NPY Women’s Council project that is Anangu-led by artists and traditional ngangkari healers addressing the trauma of youth suicide through practices of deep listening. NPY Women’s Council will be represented by: Rene Wanuny Kulitja, Nyunmiti Burton, Pantjiti Lewis, Tjulapi or Pantjiti McKenzie and Patrick Hookey (interpreter).


Lynn Froggett

Lynn Froggett is Professor of Psychosocial Welfare at University of Central Lancashire and an expert on cultural impact and new model cultural institutions.

Nathan Filer

Nathan Filer is a qualified mental health nurse. His novel, The Shock of the Fall: Finding and losing Schizophrenia won several major awards, including the Costa Book of the Year.

Mehreen Farqui

Mehreen Faruqi is the Greens Senator for NSW. Mehreen is a civil and environmental engineer and life-long activist for social and environmental justice.

Clive Parkinson

Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health and convenor of the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health and Social Change. He believes that the arts help us make sense of the world and challenge the inequalities that grind us down.

Nina Ernst

Nina Ernst is the Associate Director, Programmes for ArtScience Museum, Singapore. Her work at the museum spans public engagement through tours, talks and workshops, performances, films and events, as well as schools programmes, interactive displays and outreach.

Leigh Ledare

Leigh Ledare’s projects in photography and film raise questions of agency, intimacy and consent, transforming the observer into the voyeur of private scenes or situations dealing with social taboos

Karen Therese

Karen Therese is the Artistic Director of PYT Fairfield. She is also an interdisciplinary artist, creative producer and cultural activist.

Evelyn Araluen

A poet born, raised and writing on Dharug country, and a descendent of the Bundjalung nation, currently the official poet for The Big Anxiety festival. Supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Part of The Big Anxiety 2019 festival of people + arts + science


DAUGHTERS Concert 17 Oct

Daughters is a world premiere song-cycle that uses the haunting form of Portuguese fado, female voice and intimate musical accompaniment to evoke the strength and tragedy of women and girls lost to violence.

Presented by The Big Anxiety, City Recital Hall and Tammy Brennan, the concert is an associated event of Anxiety Culture and the Future. Delegates can purchase tickets at a reduced price using the code BAFCD

Tickets can be purchased online here

Full Event Details HERE with information on pre-concert panel talk

Anxiety, Culture and the Future is produced by Curating Third Space, The Big Anxiety festival of people + arts + science and Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Curating Third Space is led by UNSW Art and Design, supported by the Australian Research Council, The Australia Council for the Arts, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, The ArtScience Museum, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and Australia’s Science Channel.

Generously supported by Art Gallery NSW and Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

The Big Anxiety acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island elders, past and present.