The Fetch Blog

The best events and reads for professionals

Event Review – Raw: Ensemble — October 1, 2012

Event Review – Raw: Ensemble

What: RAW Brisbane: Ensemble
Where: Oh Hello!
When: 26 September 2012
Reviewed by: Steph Dooris and Andrew Watt, Brisbane Ambassadors

Somewhere between the visual art, samba dance routine and fashion shows, Steph and I looked at each other and realised: what a crazy amount of diverse talent exists in the Brisbane arts scene.

RAW Artists is an independent arts organisation originally from the United States, but last month saw their first international showcase at Oh Hello in Fortitude Valley. With RAW’s fourth showcase in Brisbane, dubbed “Ensemble” the organisation is fast solidifying itself as the hub of Brisbane’s art community.

After both attending the launch of RAW last month, Steph and I were eager to get along to the second Brisbane showcase and check out the fresh batch of artist’s work on show. Yet again we were dazzled with a slew of visual art, photography, music, fashion, dance, hair and makeup that our city’s art scene is bursting at the seams with talent.

This time around we wanted to connect with more of the attendees, and hopefully suss out some juicy information from them. As we floated through Oh Hello! mingling with the crowd, drinks in our hand, we got chatting to some interesting personalities and decided to share their opinions with you.

Nicki and Linda (exhibitor)

Thoughts so far: I’m loving tonight so far! I can’t wait for the showcases to begin. We’re very excited.
Excited about: The work by the other designers on the runway. I can really relate to how excited they will be. So far tonight has been a lot of fun.

I’ve met a lot of fun people and there were lots of fun behind the scenes. Hair and make up was really great. But we’re really just excited for the show to start.

Brad, Sonya, Emma

First time? Yes
Discovered RAW through: Zanee, my sister, is one of the design exhibitors here. She’s awesome.
Excited about: I’m quite excited to see the bands. I’ve been told that they’re quite good.
Three words for tonight: Raw, energetic, Zanee

Aicha

Discovered RAW through: My friend, Megan Lumley, has art in tonight’s exhibit and she was like ‘Come along!’ So I thought OK because I haven’t seen her art before. But it’s really amazing and I’m really excited.

Everyone’s art tonight is really cool. I’m enjoying it a lot.
Inspired by: Damien Hirst. I love the skull he did that’s covered in diamonds! I really like him and he has really controversial artwork that I think are interesting.

Alex Gee (exhibitor)

Excited about: I really enjoy the photography, actually. I think I’m just attracted to photography in general and to see good work coming out of Brisbane is always exciting.
Inspired by: The studio that I work with inspires me every day. I work for Breeder, which is a part of another company called Josephmark. We’re doing really exciting things for a lot of really exciting clients, Myspace being one of them.
Points for: All of it. It all rocks.

Lauren

Discovered RAW through: I was here to visit Kahlia Litzow, one of the artists. I’m really glad I came because I’ve been introduced to so many other amazing people as well. It’s been great.
Inspired by: It’s sort of hard to say because I’m not really involved in the arty scene. But I have been looking at a lot of burlesque stuff so I guess that’s been inspiring me.
Points for: It’s nice to have a bar where you get spirits, you can’t really do that at other art exhibitions so that’s definitely a plus.

Jose and Jacob

Thoughts so far: Jose: The art is really nice. I really like it. And all the artists are really friendly as well, so its great. Jacob: I’ve really liked the art tonight. It’s very good. Really diverse, as well.
Excited by: Jose: I like Fleur‘s work. She’s my friend’s sister. It reminds me a lot of Agnes Cecile, which is good.

Jacob: My favourite would probably have to be the landscape photography.

Three words for tonight: Jose Indie, fashion, art. Jacob: Lively, inspired, art.

Rose

Thoughts so far: I think the fashion show is definitely the most exciting part of the night. I also love all the artwork as well. I think it’s really good to get young artists out there.
Inspired by: Everything in Brisbane. Everything and anything that looks good to my eyes, which in Brisbane there is a lot.
Three words for tonight: Really fucking awesome.

Andrew and Steph attended the Ensemble showcase courtesy of RAW Brisbane. The next RAW event is on the 24 of October at Oh Hello!

Event Review: Networx Marketers Meetings —

Event Review: Networx Marketers Meetings

What: Networx Marketers Meeting
Topic: Content Strategy – create and develop engaging online content
Where: Hotel Urban, Brisbane
When: 26 September 2012
Event review by: Nicole Jensen and Amilia Cunningham, Brisbane Ambassadors

Content strategy – the newest marketing buzzwords…  What does it really mean? And once we get our heads around it, will there be new terms to replace it?  We went along to find out!

The Networx team put a lot of effort into making their events as engaging as possible, even before the audience has met the panellists. Networking time is used well to promote new connections, and there are always plenty of prizes up for grabs. Networx events are also those kind of events where you definitely need to know, for absolute certain, which pockets you’re using for incoming versus outgoing business cards – there’s a lot of exchanges!

Facilitating the panel discussion was marketing strategist Cat Matson, drawing insights from the panel of three, comprised of Scott Esdaile from Publicis Mojo, Emma Croston from News Queensland, and Iain Calvert from Reload Media.The panel brought together a broad range of perspectives and experiences with the topic, relating to analytics, the business of content, and creativity overall. Each question received a great balance of information from these areas.

Top tips from the panel:

  • Work out who your audience is – where and how are they engaging with content online.
  • Ask yourself why – In relation to the types of platforms you use to engage with your audience and share your content, ask yourself what you want to achieve and why is that platform right for you?
  • You don’t have to be everywhere – There’s no point being across all social media if your audience isn’t there.  Tailor your strategy to engage your audience directly.
  • Be strategic – Consider your objectives an tailor your content strategy, leading to content that is more tailored and less ad-hoc and haphazard.
  • Check share-ability – ask yourself would someone link or share this content? If so, then it’s worthwhile putting online.
  • How will you ‘mousetrap’ your audience? – Emma explained this as tailoring your content and your site to enhance the user experience and keep them on your site longer.

The audience dynamics during the panel were that of your standard Brisbane marketing event – professional but with a hint of cheek when the odd joke arose in discussion… or the tweet stream!

Overall the event was informative, engaging and entertaining. It’s great to see the formula has been working for Iceberg Events all these years, and we look forward to seeing many more in the future.

As for the venue, Hotel Urban was a pleasant networking and seminar spot, joining the two spaces with a vibrant stairwell of street art.

What did you miss? An intelligent panel, bright social media buffs, cool interactive media and a shiny rooftop view.

Nicole and Amilia attended the September Networx Marketers Meeting courtesy of Iceberg Events.  To see Nicole’s tweets from the event, visit @thefetchbris. The upcoming Networx Marketers Meetings event is on 24 October, and covers visual social media content.

Event Review: The Great Debate — September 16, 2012

Event Review: The Great Debate

What: The Great Debate, as part of Brisbane Writers Festival
Where: QPAC Concert Hall
When: 8 September 2012
Event review by: Amilia Cunningham, Brisbane Ambassador

What happens when you put Germaine Greer and Bob Katter, two very controversial and polarising personalities, in a debate together?  Well… not much it seems.  The topic was ‘Reading the Bible is good for you’. Katter, Greer, and former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, represented the affirmative team. Californian P.I Rachel Sommerville, Magistrate Jacqui Payne, and author Benjamin Law, represented the negative team.

For the affirmative, Katter opened up the debate with references to Vikings and the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Unfortunately I struggled to find the link to the topic, and it seemed like Germaine, up on stage, did too. I expected brashness from Greer, and despite her argument of the Bible being a ‘grand delusion’ (and the reason we should read it is so we can know how silly it is). She surprised me by being eloquent in her argument (perhaps she had used up her quota of controversial statements for the Festival during the opening of it).

Holloway, having the most religious background of the three, argued that the Bible is not a book, it’s a library, and that ‘we should read parts of it that are applicable…. to reclaim it from the bigots and the homophobes’.

Sommerville opened the floor for the negative team, discussing what she called ‘Lock Up Town’ – the second biggest city in the US being those who are under some kind of correctional supervision. Surprisingly, a high percentage of those living in areas that Sommerville calls the epicentre of Christianity (Louisiana), is doing time.

Payne gave the audience a few laughs by suggesting the top two reasons reading the Bible was bad for you was that the print was too small, and it was too long, so it can’t hold your interest.  But her real argument was how the Bible had contributed to the loss of aboriginal history.

Law compared the Bible to Game of Thrones – both have ‘nudity, sex, murder, revenge, bloodshed, torture, natural disaster, and homosexuality’.  He confessed that he actually had read the Bible as a child, but with a young impressionable mind, left to his devices to interpret (or misinterpret) the Bible’s stories led him to argue that indeed, it was not good for you.

There was time for rebuttal, but most of this centred on Holloway’s disappointment that Law would poke such fun at the Bible, feeling that he trashed something that was very sacred to many people.

Ultimately, the negative team won by audience cheer. However, debating lost. While there were some good arguments for both the affirmative and negative on the topic, it was apparent that the teams hadn’t actually had the chance to sit down and plan out their arguments, leading to lack of flow between the discussions.

What did you miss? Some laughs, a few pot-shots at the Bible, everyone’s confusion at Katter, and a rather contained Greer.

Amilia and Beck attended The Great Debate courtesy of Brisbane Writer’s Festival.

Event Review: Social Media Changing Lives —

Event Review: Social Media Changing Lives

What: Social Media: Changing Lives, at Brisbane Writers Festival
Organised by: TAFE Qld English Language and Literacy Services (TELLS
Where: State Library of Queensland
When: 8 September 2012
Review by: Amilia Cunningham, Brisbane Ambassador

There’s been a lot of negative press recently about social media. So, when I read the description for the event ‘Social Media: Changing Lives’ at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, I was expecting nice stories.  What I didn’t expect was the laughs, or the tears, the highs and lows, that the audience experienced in one simple hour. These stories of connecting with family overseas, conversing with husbands an ocean away, supporting each other in crisis and connecting a culture of people around the world were told by four young women, recent immigrants to Brisbane.  Two of their stories are below.

How does one sustain a relationship and marriage when you live in a different country to your husband?  Skype was a lifeline for Mukarrama from Bangladesh, who met her husband through a client, and after getting married, he moved to Australia for work, but she wasn’t able to follow him for almost 12 months. ‘We shared our stories, emotions, joys and sorrows.  It allowed me to have the emotional touch I needed’, she told the audience.

Another speaker, Margaretha, worked in mining in Indonesia.  Her story was raw, deeply sad and it was difficult for her to contain her grief.  There was only one helicopter that the mining company owned. In August 2011, it went missing and it became apparent in the days after, that it had crashed.  All 10 on board had died.  Through social media, their community was able to pull together and support each other and the families of the men who died.  She still keeps in touch with some of the wives now that she is in Australia.

As I consider moving overseas to work sometime in the near future, something that Mukarrama said touched me personally.  Now that she’s moved to Australia, she uses Skype to talk with her mother in Bangladesh.  She said ‘I never felt, before I moved to Australia, that I bore such a love in my heart for my mother’. And I know this will be me, in months or years to come, relying on social media to stay connected to those closest to me. And how thankful I am, that Skype and Facebook will enable that connection.

What did you miss? Heartfelt stories of connection, love, and supporting others through grief, and the positive power of social media.

Event Review: We Need To Talk About America —

Event Review: We Need To Talk About America

What: We Need To Talk About America, at Brisbane Writers Festival
Where: State Library of Queensland
When: 7 September 2012
Reviewed by: Lee Mathers, Brisbane Ambassador

You would generally expect sessions at the Brisbane Writers Festival to be genteel affairs, talking about books and writing and the glory of the written word. You don’t often expect an audience to be so exceptionally vocal. But this is America we’re talking about, so one should have been prepared.

So it came to pass at one of the early sessions of BWF 2012 with authors David Vann, John de Graaf and Eowyn Ivey, all Americans but all from very diverse backgrounds, sitting on a panel, talking about….well…America.

The topics of discussion varied from the melting pot that was the early 1900s United States, where there was an underlying sense of people coming together (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” etc) and how great that used to be compared to the current US decline. And all three authors were convinced that the US was on a downward slope.

De Graaf, (of Affluenza fame and previously interviewed by The Fetch), was the only non-fiction writer on the panel and was able to reel off incredible facts about the poor state of the US generally. But both Vann (bestselling author, most recently of Last Day On Earth: A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter) and Ivey (The Snow Child) were adamant that the US had had an impact on the world and most of it was bad.

Vann spoke in rather chilling detail about the proliferation of guns in the US. Thirty-three thousand suicides each year caused by firearms; ten thousand other deaths attributable to guns and neither political party is willing to deal or able to deal with the issue.

Politics and the upcoming Presidential Election received a good deal of attention, as well as where each author would live if they could live anywhere (only De Graaf nominated that he’d stay in the US). But it was when the floor was opened to questions that things really became fiery. Who would have thought that the audience would turn?

By the end of the session, it seemed that there were more “pro Americans” in the crowd than on the panel. One thing is for sure: opinion on America runs deep. And there are plenty of people that are quite happy to keep talking about it!

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