Glorious Failures

When you build in evaluation of the project from Day 1, you might see different results in your community’s engagement, as you will need to share your thoughts, processes and finding in a way that is truly useful for your partners and participants.

Working for years in the creative industries, we have experienced a growing desire for authenticity, yet this desire is contradicted by a risk adversion. We wonder how these two are compatible: the desire for spectacular outcomes ideally addressing the need for authentic representation of culture and its narratives – and the growing need to avoid or reduce risks and be able to cover one’s back at all time.

How do you avoid getting trapped between these high expectations and its close cousin, fear-and-blame culture that bureaucracies seem to function on.
Innovation and growth arise from mistakes. Mistakes are how we all learn. But how can you allow for mistakes, without freaking out your funders and stakeholders?

For example, many of our most successful projects really are failures, compared to our expectations  - with First Fleet Back we attempted to create a satire about genocide and racism, while talking back to whiteness… We did make an amazing and award-winning hybrid documentary, this was our second film, and we still feel like we haven’t really addressed whiteness.
Here is the challenge: To bring a playfulness and positive awareness around mistake-making and an open, co-creative process: Make your process visible in the final product. Allow for failure time, to go down one avenue and if it doesn’t work you have time and new knowledge to try something else.


For our work for Federation Square in Melbourne as part of The Light in Winter 2013, ‘when does the light turn on?’ – we had to develop a lot of crazy ideas that didn’t make it into production, but were necessary mistakes that brought us onto the ideas that made the work shine. Have a look here to check out the process involved

[More on this in Research and Development]





Recent Project: Ngarrindjeri Culture Hub

 The Ngarrindjeri Culture Hub is an ongoing Change Media and Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority partnership to create and promote Ngarrindjeri arts and culture, in collaboration with Ngarrindjeri artists and their communities across Ngarrindjeri country.


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