About the Project

For some, climate change is out there, hovering just beyond today’s bad weather. For others it is already unfolding, with catastrophic consequences for the people and places they love.

The disconnection between people and land is not only a driver of climate change, it informs how we experience, understand and respond to it. This disconnection is underpinned and sustained by colonialism and capitalism, ideologies of domination, separation and control.

As key beneficiaries of these systems, settler descended people have a responsibility to trouble the privileges of colonialism, and develop ways of being with and in place that promote ecological and social justice towards the past and the future.

Tender Places is a creative research project undertaken as Doctoral Research at Victoria University. It is auto-ethnographic research undertaken by Kelly Lee Hickey a fifth generation Northern Territory settler, and takes place in and around Mparntwe/Alice Springs, which is on Arrernte land. It aims to disrupt harmful settler colonial land relations through walking, reading, and creative making practices.

About the Researcher

Kelly Lee Hickey was raised in Darwin, on the sweat soaked wetlands of Larrakia land, and has made her home in the dusty red country of the Arrernte nation in Mparntwe/Alice Springs since 2008. An artist, activist and creative researcher, her practice explores the intersections between people and places, through collaborative and participatory works. Her work has been published and performed in Australia, China, Finland, New Zealand, Indonesia and Germany.

Tender Places takes place on the unceded sovereign lands of the Arrernte people. As a settler artist and researcher I acknowledge the historic and ongoing harm and erasures caused by colonial culture and research, and express my continued commitment to listening and learning about ways of doing, being and knowing that unravel these harmful legacies, and restore justice in these lands.

Please get in touch with any questions or would like to know more. I’m especially interested to hear from other artists and researchers working on similiar ideas, or in similiar ways – please say hi!