Regenerating a body of water: a walk with Birrarung-ga
Past Event

Regenerating a Body of Water: A Walk with Birrarung-ga


Sat 20 May 2:00pm - 4:00pm


Booking required


Enterprize Park 401 Flinders Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 (close to the water)
Enterprize Park, 401 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


Low sensory / relaxed

Reframing waterways through urban play starting with Boon Wurrung journey cycles, this workshop is situated along the Birrarung to speculate on a near-future flooded world. In order to tension dominant relations with water so we can envision alternative possible futures, participants will encounter hidden memories of waterways and engage in play design thinking to intimately reconnect with water.

This 2 hour workshop starts as the launching of a zine that recollects stories of water care in Melbourne. The zine includes a game to be played along the Birrarung, in which participants are invited to reimagine their own relationships with water through interrelational and intergenerational play. Through this experience participants will gain knowledge of water justice, water sovereignty, and water as a vital life force.

The game starts at Queens Bridge, where the group will have the opportunity to remember the waterfall that once was there separating the river from the bay, and reflect on the destruction of the waterfall and transformation of the river as part of the design of European colonisation. Using portable vessels, the group will collect water from the Birrarung and embrace the responsibility of protecting its substance as we walk to remap the original course of the river. Participants will carry water in their vessels to Alexandra Gardens to then engage in speculative play with Melbourne waterways past, present, and future. Participants will play with the water in different ways through a physical play system developed for the workshop.


Alexandre Faustino

Nature always had a place of wonder for Alezandre Faustino as a kid growing up in a metropolis like São Paulo, an intense city that offers rare glimpses of green, fresh air and clean running water. Throughout his academic education, Alexandre sought knowledge and practices that could guide process of ecological regeneration in our settlements and territories, with a special interest in the flows of water through urban space.

This journey revealed to Alexandre the central role of people’s power to promote local and systemic change when individuals and communities come together for action through emancipatory practices. His work draws from political ecology and urban geography literature to ask how waterscapes, or the ways society relates with water, can be re-imagined and governed with more socio-ecological equality.

Paloma Bugedo

Paloma Bugedo is a visual creative from between the Andes and the Pacific. She is an urban planner, artist, placemaker, feminist, cyclist, and is passionate about birds and folk music.

Paloma is part of the Wattle Fellowship, a development programme for sustainable practices. Throughout her career, she has been interested in activating public spaces, promoting active mobility and engaging with communities through collaborative and creative ecological art practices.

Currently, Paloma is involved in the research Community Engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction while developing The Tail of The Phoenix; a tiny theatre for community storytelling and puppet-building workshops.

Ana Lara Heyns

As a Mexican Mestiza, Ana Lara Heyns grew up in diverse worlds, with identity, belonging, and heritage forming the centre of her research. She is a geo-anthropologist who is curious about understanding the in-betweenness of two identities living in the same territory in Mexico, and later as a migrant in Australia.

Ana has always been intrigued by the flows of wind and water, which led her to travel the world through her research in heritage and tourism. Ana’s PhD focused on water memory and Indigenous Knowledge, leading her to continue the research at Monash University on repairing memories of water in the city through decolonising and indigenising practices in design.

Nicolas Guerra

Nicolas Guerra is a young scholar with practical experience, intrigued by cities, their people, and their complexities. The everyday life activities and experiences of culturally rich urban environments inspire him further in his research.

Nicolas’ curiosity lies in understanding how invisible interactions and the own (co)existence of diverse bodies in public spaces can make people reflect, perceive, feel and experience urbanicity. Nicolas’s experience as a queer, Latino, immigrant, traveller, and nature lover has further informed his research and his evolving identity is inevitably infused with his professional experience. The lenses Nicolas brings from his journey in the environmental analysis and ecology field helps him to see the world as this complex, ever-changing system of living elements, relations, and landscapes.

Professor N’arweet Carolyn Briggs AM PhD

Professor Briggs is a Boon Wurrung senior elder, chairperson, and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation. She has been involved in developing and supporting opportunities for Indigenous youth and Boon Wurrung culture for over 50 years.

Troy Innocent

Dr Innocent is an artist, game maker, urban play scholar, and creator of 64 Ways of Being, an AR art trail platform blending game design with live and public art. Based at RMIT University, his work connects digital media poetics, creative code, visual language, mixed realities and urban code. Innocent develops augmented reality games that blend physical objects with digital interfaces to reimagine everyday urban environments in playful ways within a diverse range of public spaces from Barcelona to Hong Kong. Working with the city as a material, his practice explores ways of being that reimagine, reconfigure and reconnect with the world.

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