Workshop – Michael Balfour and colleagues – Performing care


Michael Balfour and colleagues – with Margot Politis, Claire Hooker and Vic McEwan

Performing care

Varying notions of care have become a leitmotif in efforts to include the analysis of agency and creativity in discussions of the lived experience of marginalization. Understandings of care have in common an emphasis on relationality and activity: Communicative activities of care both constitute and are made relevant by morally/ethically framed relationships with others and oneself.” (Black, 2018)

This dialogue workshop gathers together practitioners and researchers from a range of disciplines (and anti-disciplines) to explore the notion of care and performance, asking the question: “What does care look like, sound like and feel like?”

The workshop is designed to provoke thinking about performance, social relationships and imperatives of care. Performative acts can be moments in which care relationships are negotiated and re-imagined, as well as important processes in which artists and participants reconnect with embodied knowledges. This might include care/lack of care in a time of social injustice, self-care and the need to reconnect with the body after illness, how music might facilitate recovery after brain injury, or how audio ecologies provide a critical soundtrack of care. Through three diverse provocations from pioneering practitioners and researchers the workshop will present, and invite reflection on, the concept of creative care in all our work.

Speakers include:

  • Margot Politis (Milk Crate Theatre)
  • Dr Claire Hooker (Senior Lecturer, Medical Humanities, Sydney Health Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney)
  • Vic McEwan, contemporary artist (sound, installation, video and performance)
  • Chaired by Prof Michael Balfour and hosted by the Arts and Health Hub (UNSW).


  • Introduction (5 mins) [Michael Balfour]
  • 3 x 20 mins provocations/presentations (60 mins)
  • Dialogue/Discussion (25 mins)
  • Conclusion (5 mins)

This workshop is open access.