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Conversation between Ute Meta Bauer and Michael A. Mel

Afterall Journal Launch Issue 47


Ocean Space
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On the occasion of the publication of Afterall journal issue 47, “Situated Practices and Conditioned Positions”, we are pleased to host a launch event with an in-conversation between Ute Meta Bauer, Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Singapore and part of the Afterall’s editorial team, and Michael A. Mel, Manager of the Pacific & International Collections at the Australian Museum and a contributor to this issue.

The discussion will be centred on climate change strategies and decolonial methodologies that privilege the participation of indigenous communities from the Pacific within the museum. Bauer and Mel will examine the recent collaboration between the Australian Museum with the Asaro mudmen of Komunive village in Papua New Guinea.

To celebrate this event Afterall is pleased to share Mel’s article “Privileging Community Voices: Cultural Revitalisation in Museology and Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea” from issue 47, Spring/Summer 2019, which we have made available to read online free of charge.


Ute Meta Bauer is Founding Director of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Singapore. Bauer is also Professor of Art at NTU’s School of Art, Media, and Design. She was previously Associate Professor and the Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, where she had served as Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program from 2005-09.

Michael A. Mel is of the Mogei tribe in the Mt Hagen area in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). He completed a PhD at Flinders University, Adelaide and was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Goroka, PNG. He is currently a manager for Pacific and international collection at the Australian Museum, Sydney.

Photo credit: Asaro mudmen of the Komunive village, Papua New Guinea, September 2016, performance, Australian Museum, Sydney. Photo: Abram Powell. Courtesy the Australian Museum