Connecting Song and the Mallrats video

Thursday, 11 May 2017
Connecting Songs comprises three different works from three different artists that help us to think about Geelong and our region in a different way.

The program is a part of the Mountain to Mouth project, funded by Creative Victoria and the City of Greater Geelong, and was intended to allow some of our emerging artists to engage with mentors who would coach them to a stage where their work could be exhibited.

We asked emerging artists to pitch their ideas and they came back to us with a range of ideas. We did not direct them on what to focus on – that was their decision. One of the songs, Mallrats by Fatty Phew, prompts us to think about the Little Malop St Mall and the people who use it. Art is one way to facilitate broader understanding of such environments.

More than 2500 people viewed the three videos during Geelong After Dark (5 May) and their response was overwhelmingly positive. Mallrats is a really good way of getting people to engage with and think about the mall.  It encourages us to think about some of the challenges faced by the people who occupy some of our urban streets.

The song helps us to understand the importance of social equity in Geelong, and that some of the people who use the mall are marginalised, alienated and need our support. And though disenfranchised, these people are still part of our community, and we need to do everything we can to include them – for we are a caring community.

Geelong is also on the move and we’re working hard to revitalise central Geelong.  Projects such as Connecting Songs do a great job in getting us to think and talk about the possibilities for our mall. It’s a fabulous space for events and we hold regular activities there. And as more and more people choose to live and work in Geelong, our city and our mall will change.

We’re also working with local housing, construction and hospitality industries to address particular issues for unemployed youth in disadvantaged areas to improve their access to employment and training. We need to understand alienation in parts of our community and actively try to address it.