Artists and thinkers to forge new media frontier

30-Oct-2017

Digital media coordinator, lecturer and filmmaker Dr Aurora Scheelings.

Digital media coordinator, lecturer and filmmaker Dr Aurora Scheelings.


An award winning investigative and undercover journalist, whose stories have exposed the murder of innocents, illegal blood sport events and the horror of urban terrorism, will address a public symposium at Charles Darwin University this week.

Belfast-based journalist and documentary filmmaker Brendan McCourt will draw from his repertoire of stories to explore a range of ethical questions that arise in the pursuit of telling the truth.

“Should journalists cooperate with authorities in the prosecution of those who took part in murder during conflict but are now involved in the peace process?” Mr McCourt asks. “Similarly, is society better served by leaving a painful past undisturbed?”

Mr McCourt is among filmmakers, poets, artists and scholars invited by the School of Creative Arts and Humanities to challenge understandings of art, aesthetics and connections to mass media at the Creative Frontiers in Modern Media Symposium on 2-3 November.

Head of School Professor Brian Mooney said presenters had been invited to imagine what a creative frontier might mean to either their disciplinary research or their creative practice.

“We are exploring the nature of a creative frontier in relation to the many forms of modern media: is it a conceptual battle line; is it a shift in technology or culture that revises the status quo; is it an avant-garde gesture that can lead to creative innovation?” Professor Mooney said.

Key note speakers journalists Brendan McCourt and Anthony Curry, and academics Jane Stadhler, Darren Wershler and Warwick Mules will join CDU academics Dr Aurora Scheelings and Dr Gemma Blackwood in the symposium line-up.

Dr Scheelings said she would speak about a modern global shift in documentary production practices, which has seen the once important idea “to inform” replaced by today’s preference “to entertain”.

“I will argue that the underlying imperative in television documentary programs to inform, as opposed to entertain, the public about social, historical and political issues is less now than it was a decade ago,” Dr Scheelings said.

“With public service broadcasting examples from Canada, the UK and Australia, I’ll discuss the commercial models being followed and other factors that have contributed to today’s documentary landscape.”

Another feature of the two-day symposium will be the screenings of several documentaries including two produced by Mr Curry. One traces the history of rock and pop music in Northern Ireland and the other tells the story of six Irish men who reflect on their freedom in the aftermath of having been convicted of mass murder based on fabricated evidence.

The symposium will be free and open to the public. It will be held in Building Blue 5.1.01 Theatre, Casuarina campus. RSVP to E: cahadmin@cdu.edu.au

Symposium website: W: http://creative-frontiers.cdu.edu.au/