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Christie Torrington

Christie Torrington is a practicing visual artist and has worked in community cultural events in local government for the past 15 years. Her latest project is the upcoming Youth Week in the City event, Create for Change: Activism in the Arts.

Create for Change: Activism in the arts presents a rare opportunity for young people to access practicing artists first hand, engage in meaningful discussion and ask questions in a safe and inclusive environment.

This is her story.

My personal passion is affecting change through art, working with young artists and facilitating events and programs that give these artists a voice.

Being an artist is in itself is a form of activism. Creating art is about rejecting conventions, challenging perceptions and providing an alternative viewpoint – a job that is not always an easy one. As artists we are constantly fighting - for recognition, fair wages, funding & employment – not to mention against the often inaccurate perceptions of artists and their role (or lack thereof) in society. On the upside, the arts can be a haven of acceptance for the marginalized, a safe space and a means of catharsis.

In short, what motivates me to make a difference is my desire to connect with others creatively and support young people to do the same.

I work as Cultural Programs Coodinator for Youth at the City of Sydney’s Pine Street Creative Arts Centre - a community arts venue in Chippendale. I am very excited for our upcoming Youth Week event, Create for Change: Activism in the Arts, an interactive panel discussion featuring 6 incredible artists from culturally diverse backgrounds, who work across visual arts, performance, music and the written word. The panel discussion will be moderated by MC and activist Kween G and will feature:

  • artist, musician and academic Safdar Ahmed, founding member of the Refugee Art Project, which conducts art workshops with refugees and asylum seekers in detention
  • writer, musician and zinemaker and gender activist Bastian Fox Phelan, part of dream pop duo Moonsign
  • writer, designer and urban planner Fayroze Lutta, whose passion is the enduring fight for affordable housing and accessible public space
  • Illustrator, photographer and painter Blak Douglas(Adam Hill), whose landscape interpretations are flavoured with messages of social justice and political commentary.
  • multi-disciplinary artist Willurai Kirkbright, Wiradjuri woman, educator and facilitator focused on truth telling and empowering disadvantaged minorities.

Our panellists will discuss how young people can use art to challenge perceptions, raise awareness – and even change the world. Each panellist has a unique perspective on the topic and will engage the youth audience in an interactive discussion, with a special focus on activism and inclusion. They’ll share their personal journeys and insights into the key role artists play in raising awareness of environmental, political and social issues.
To other young people I say, get involved in local community events, be present & don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Seek out people you admire and ask them lots of questions! Say ‘yes’ as much as possible to every creative opportunity – and always know your worth. Fight for what you believe in and don’t be afraid to speak your mind, push the envelope and always, ALWAYS be yourself!

To me, multiculturalism means inclusion, diversity and of course, a celebration of our differences – what makes us unique is not divisive but what unites us as human beings. The City is working with, and for many diverse groups to create programs, events and opportunities for the many different people who live in our vibrant city.

I love feeling like I am a small part of the huge team of people who care deeply about this city and its residents, and that I am able to create something special for the young people who live, work play and study here.


 

Create for Change: Activism in the Arts is part of Youth Week in the City. The event is on 17 April. Book your FREE tickets here