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Episode 15: Co-creating social change through theatre: A conversation with Robin Davidson and Ali Clinch
[00:00:00] Robin Davidson: We’ve evolved to collaborate. It’s actually normal. The culture of intensive competition is a relatively recent thing in human history, and I think in some ways, a lot of what our work is about is just giving people space and permission to remember that and to experience the pleasure and the joy that comes from going, yeah, we can play together. We can create together. And yes, there may be moments of conflict and egos may rear up from time to time, and there may be tricky parts of that process to navigate, but that ultimately it is our birthright to work in close collaboration creatively with fellow members of our species. It’s what we evolved to be really good at doing.
[00:00:58] Nicole Deen: Welcome to Collaboratory. I’m Nicole Deen and you’ve just heard from Robin Davidson, one of our guests in today’s Collaboratory Conversation series. Robin is a founding director of Rebus Theatre, a theatre company based in Canberra, Australia. I first learned about Rebus when I attended a workplace training performance they ran called Access All Areas which aimed to equip staff and volunteers in better assisting customers and clients with disabilities.
The performance was co-created with the audience, and the experience was so powerful that I felt I had to learn more about both how Rebus uses applied theatre approaches in their work and why they choose these over other less participatory methodologies.
I spoke with Robin and his colleague Ali Clinch back in 2021 during a Covid lockdown period in Australia. Since our conversation, Ali’s moved on from Rebus and is now artistic director for Acting with Ali. Despite this passage of time, however, the conversation we had and insights shared are just as relevant today as when we recorded the interview.
In our edited conversation with this episode, you’ll hear how co-creativity shows up at Rebus, how the approaches they take to creating applied theatre with their audience are used to influence behavioral and social change, and how they intentionally weave in co-creative mindsets and practices to scaffold people’s participation and contribution to their work.
[00:02:24] Ali Clinch: We’re a theatre company that works with theatre for social change, and so, that means that we essentially work with voices of members of the community. So we have worked with people with disability and a wide range of disabilities from physical, intellectual, to psychological. And then we also do work in the LGBTQI plus community, multicultural community, conflict resolution in racism, we do work there.
We have the workplace training module, but then we also very much follow the interests and the lived experiences of what we call the Rebus Family, and that’s the artists that are connected toRebus and then try and create work and projects that are meaningful to the artists of Rebus, as well as tapping into communities that may not normally get resourced.
[00:03:15] Robin Davidson: The parallel purpose we have as a company too, is to be a centre of excellence in applied theatre techniques – particularly in forum theatre and playback theatre, which are two interactive theatre techniques and in devised theatre, in the process of creating original material with a community.
[00:03:37] Nicole Deen: We’ll be hearing more about these different forms of applied theatre throughout this conversation, as well as linking to more information about them in the show notes. Before we jump into the approaches in detail, let’s hear a little more about what Rebus does more broadly in their community theatre work. When I spoke with them in 2021, they had 12 different programs running, some smaller development projects and others with big public outcomes.
[00:04:01] Ali Clinch: One of our flagship projects is Flair, and that’s our main stage production, and that goes on stage every two years, and that’s for artists with disabilities. And it’s really about creating a pathway of experience for artists with disabilities to get onto the stage, full costume, full light set, and high quality production.
So, the director for this year’s flair was Robin, our artistic director and Sammy Moynihan, and they did a wonderful job working collaboratively with Canberra Dance Theatre as well. That show is about demonstrating the artistic talent that is in the ACT at the moment for performers with disability. Moving away from any kind of suggestion that shows put on with people with disability are like cutesy shows, they’re very emotive, very powerful work. And yeah, the presentation is done to a really high standard.
And then right down at sort of the entrance level of working with Rebus. We have our inclusive drama classes and therefore adults with intellectual disability. And they’re a weekly session, two hours a week. But don’t be fooled. They put on a performance every 10 weeks. They actually do a lot of play building, a lot of creation. But that is the nature of applied theatre working there where everybody has autonomy and they get to create characters and stories, and then they present to family and friends.
One of our very exciting shows this year was a commissioned by the Australian Academy of Science and that was a show called What If Scientists Rule the World? And Robin and I worked collaboratively on that. And it was a forum theatre performance that was both live and online interactive and on YouTube. And that reached, I think an audience of over 500, but from like a multitude of countries. It was quite overwhelming actually, the, the number of countries we were, yeah, broadcasting to live.
And that was really interesting because. This highly intelligent organisation with really great resources, the Australian Academy of Science, and Falling Walls, which is a organisation out of Berlin, they had never seen the engaging way that Forum theatre could work. It just blew their minds.
And for us, we knew the forum theatre would work. We knew that would be super engaging for us. The sort of nervous point was like making sure that all the technology worked. But it’s, yeah, it’s witnessing people experience forum theatre for the first time. It’s like watching people see magic happen. They’re just like, whoa, how did that happen? What just happened? That was amazing, and people get really engaged and very passionate, usually about the topic, if you can get the formula right.
[00:06:42] Nicole Deen: As I mentioned earlier, it was through one of these forum theatre performances that I was introduced to both Rebus and the power of this co-created theatre method. Forum theatre is a model which was originally developed by Augusto Boal, a Brazilian theatre director in the late sixties and early seventies working in Brazil and Peru. There are many variations of it used around the world today, but the basic idea is pretty simple, as Robin explains.
[00:07:07] Robin Davidson: A group of actors prepare a short play, usually somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes in length, which deals with a real social problem in which people make poor decisions and the outcome is bad. And that’s played for the audience from beginning to end in the normal fashion, and then it’s played through a second time. And the second time through, at any moment in the action, anyone in the audience can call “stop”, come onto the stage, replace one of the actors, and explore what would happen if someone had behaved differently in that moment.
There are variations in terms of different rules you can play with as Boal originally created it, there was a main character, the protagonist, and originally invitation was just to replace the protagonist. Most of the time we work with that, you can replace anyone. I think the magic of it, is that the point of it is that we are dealing with real social problems, like things that people acknowledge, yes, that’s real, I know that happens, but with a specificity. And, by watching it play through the first time we have an emotional experience and we kind of go, “oh no, I don’t want that to happen again”.
But then the responsibility is on the audience to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, and it becomes a way of having a dialogue about a genuine issue through a specific example of how that issue plays out. And, where theoretical constructions may be less useful than actually emotional intelligence and practical knowledge of what is possible in this space.
So many public dialogues become dominated by an academic language or other kind of forms of intellectual and conceptual language, whereas people with lived experience may be left out of those, whereas in forum theatre, it’s the people who know get to be heard. And yeah, their voices can be heard more powerfully than people who may have an intellectual understanding but still don’t actually know how to apply that in the real world.
[00:09:22] Ali Clinch: That’s right, and I think one of the things that Rebus does really well is that we don’t create any forum shows without people in the forum shows who’ve had lived experience. And the other like major ingredient of a forum show, which is different to say a theatre and education show, is that we don’t have the answer.
And if it’s something where we have the answer to this problem or this wicked problem, then it would be a theatre and education show. And we’ll do a show and perform for you and tell you the answer to the problem. But forum works purely on that idea that we’re not quite sure how to fix this issue. This is a tricky issue, and so we don’t come in as the experts, we come in asking for help from the audience, and always it’s essential that people are making the play, making that first performance have a lived experience or understanding more than coming in over the top.
[00:10:12] Robin Davidson: Most of the forum shows that we’ve created, we also do some kind of a consultation process that’s wider than just with the cast as well. And so we’ve done both online consultation processes of just putting a call out for people to do a Survey Monkey, “what are your experiences about this? What are the problems you’ve experienced in this system”?
And, workshops either online or, yes, we did an online workshop with a large cohort of science communicators; some from different countries around the world as part of the process of creating what if scientists through the world for some of our Access All Areas shows around the obstacles for people with disability to interact with different systems in the ACT. We’ve held both online or like a Survey Monkey and in-person interactive workshop with people with lived experience to make sure that the stories we’re telling are, are truthful and are accurate.
[00:11:07] Nicole Deen: Now that we’ve heard a little more about what forum theatre can look like and the importance of including people with lived experience in the production, what else makes it different from other forms of theatre that the audience just watches?
[00:11:19] Ali Clinch: I think anyone who’s done any training in education will agree with me that when you are embodied. When you’re physically up and doing, you have a really different relationship to your learning than if, um, someone’s talking at you. Then I think there’s that, you know, lovely proverb of “tell me and I might remember, show me, I might remember, then get me to do it and it’ll stay with me”. And I think there is that element of, for the members who actually get up and engage, there’s a really physical, embodied experience.
[00:11:51] Robin Davidson: There are so many answers to that question. It is a space where we can try out behaviour that we haven’t tried out in the real world and see if it works. But it also means, especially if, you know I’m intervening in a scene where a character is angry, then well in forum theatre, it’s referred to as the ‘spect-actor’, the spectator who becomes an actor by stepping onto the stage, the spect-actor.
It confronts their own experience of dealing with someone, being angry with them. And what does it take in me to stand my ground when I know I’m right, but the response I’m getting is anger from someone else. So there’s a whole emotional learning that goes on for the individual spec-actor who’s out there, but then also from the audience. Because the whole audience is identifying with that spect-actor who’s on the stage. We are all experiencing that. How do we actually deal with other people’s emotional responses?
And I think there’s just something very powerful in the fact that to change the ending, you have to stand up and you have to walk onto a space where you are being seen. And I think regardless of the content of the show, that by itself, is a powerful metaphor and embodied experience of the fact that if we want to live in a better world than this, that in some way, we have to stand up. And we have to allow ourselves to be seen, and that that is frightening. And that does require a courage in our own convictions. That’s what it takes. And often when I’m facilitating, or we use the term ‘jokering ‘forum theatre performance, the line I’ll often give to the audience is that if you don’t come up here onto the stage, then just as in real life, nothing will change.
[00:13:38] Nicole Deen: Bearing witness to this process and getting up myself as a spectator on one of Reba’s shows, I’ve personally experienced these feelings Robin is describing, and the discomfort that can arise when knowing something needs to change, but being unsure of the best way to fix it, or at least feeling the fear of being judged for doing the wrong thing.
And as Robin says, it was a way for me to engage more fully in the subject matter of the play, rather than being an onlooker, witnessing and criticising someone else’s actions. Another form of theatre that Rebus uses in its work is playback theatre. This, again, was new to me, so Ali took me on a journey into what it can look like.
[00:14:16] Ali Clinch: Imagining yourself arriving at a small theatre, and you’re gonna sit in the audience and you’ve got usually four actors on the stage and a what we call a ‘conductor’, which is the person that creates a connection between audience and actor, like a bridge between the two, and then a musician who’s usually amazingly good at picking up multiple instruments and a theme usually.
And the night can’t go ahead without the audience’s participation and that conductor will have a conversation with the audience around that theme. And then little moments from the audience’s lives will start to pop up. So in playback, say the theme is family. You might get your audience to talk, meet somebody new they’ve never met before, and talk about what family means to them.
And then we invite the audience to share a moment of family. And right now, I’m sure everybody’s got really interesting family stories cause we’re either kept away from family or we’re trapped with the family, depending on how we look at it. And a moment is shared. And then the conductor will give the actors a form, which is something that we rehearse, a way of presenting, and then the actors totally improvised without speaking to each other or connecting with each other will then play that moment back to you in the audience.
So you might have told a story about this great way you feel when all the kids eat their dinner and it’s peaceful. Nobody’s fighting, and it’s just a really lovely dinner where everyone shares a moment from their day. That’s it. That could be the story. And our conductor will say, okay, well let’s have a look at that. And then these four actors together with support from the musician will play that moment back to you. And unless you’ve experienced it, it’s, it’s quite difficult to describe how cathartic it is to see your moment played back. And it can be something as simple as that, or something as, traumatic as an assault or a major life event.
It’s being seen, it’s being heard, being listened to and being validated. And you have this room full of an audience who at the beginning of the night with strangers just come together and connect. And for that hour and a half to two hours, we just create this really special bubble and then it’s over. And then it’s finished, and I bumped into someone who saw a playback show from, it would’ve been 2012 or 2013, who still talks about her story that got played back and it wasn’t a particular, it was about her oven. It wasn’t about anything particularly traumatic, but she still talks about how she can still see the actors playing it back.
She can still see that moment where she was completely validated. Um, so playbacks really powerful and really useful in context such as, yeah, where a community has collectively gone through something. We’re going through something right now, but we’ve also had the bush fires and drought and any major event where a community really needs to come together to recover and hear each other’s stories and listen and learn from each other. Playbacks a beautiful way to do that.
[00:17:24] Robin Davidson: Also for temporary communities, like at a conference. Where people have come together for three days. Playback can be a really beautiful thing that, especially where everybody’s been in their head. For three days talking and talking, and then playback can be the connecting of that to the heart and to the remembering of why, if it’s a professional conference, why you’re in this profession. We’ve done playback performances for childcare workers. We’ve done for playback performances, for pastoral care workers, and so it’s this moment of remembering, why do I do this work? What is the emotional truth that is in the work that I do?
[00:18:02] Nicole Deen: These forms of theatre where co-creation not only happens between the actors, directors and crew, but actively involve the audience to create is a powerful way to influence the outcome of the performance. At the same time, creating theatre in this way is often more complex and risky as you never know what’s going to happen. So why does Rebus believe so strongly in this way of co-creating theatre?
[00:18:26] Robin Davidson: Look, before I’d ever heard of Forum theatre or Playback theatre, I guess I was always interested in what makes theatre different to film and the uniqueness of any night of theatre, like of any performance. And my original training was through Canberra Youth theatre, where there was, at the time that I went through, there was a strong influence of some of the more avant-garde and experimental theatre makers of people like Grotowski and Julian Beck, and the idea that theatre had a ritualistic element to it, and that it was including the audience. It was not a spectacle which was separated from the audience. And even if the content of your play didn’t alter night by night, that your duty as an actor was to be alive to what was happening in that room that night, and that your timing is different from one night to another because of who’s in the audience, you know? And that you’re sensing what the audience is experiencing and you are responding to that.
And that is what makes theatre a beautiful and unique art form and not the same thing as film. And I think I was in my teens when I just went, I’m not, not that I’m wholly uninterested in film, but that my passion and my energy is what happens live. And so I think that as well as I was an activist from the age of 16, I was always aware of my responsibility to try and leave the world a better place and aware of my privilege in that and of my responsibility to put my privilege to good purpose.
And so when I discovered forum theatre, I and other forms, I was immediately attracted to these as forms which both were so alive and where every performance was so unique. So, uh, there was an aesthetic attraction to that as well as an attraction to the fact that this is a way to really engage an audience with looking at difficult issues. But forum theatre in particular is a form where it’s also doing it without a didacticism.
Without saying, I know the answer and you don’t, and I’m gonna tell you what the answer. It’s saying, let’s look at this together, and I’ve got a way of holding a conversation. You know, my expertise in running a forum theatre process is not about knowing the answer to the problem or even knowing the complexity of that problem. It’s just knowing a particular way of looking at that problem that is interesting and that works.
[00:21:09] Ali Clinch: I think I came to applied theatre through a complete dissatisfaction with traditional. So my, my training was very much Stanislavski and I was doing a lot of theatre work as an actor and I just found that there was a lot of ego in the industry and I was just really unhappy with it at that point. And it might have been an age thing as well. It just felt like it was all about the actor watch me peacocking around and I, yeah, I just was not satisfied with that. I was really dissatisfied and I had my own experience in, when I was first introduced to theatre, I was a dancer from a very young age and then really jumped into theatre probably at about 13 years old, or 14.
There’s this element of feeling like I’d come home and I found like my home, but I hadn’t found the people in the home. It wasn’t, there was a lot of ego in, there was not a lot of space. And then when I discovered applied theatre where you can’t do the work if you’ve got big ego, like you’re so reliant on your audience and the people with lived experience that like you have to be stripped there and playback theatre is such a wonderful example of that. It is totally improvised. But there’s no showboating, which is often what we see in improvised work. You have to rely on the humility of an audience member, otherwise you don’t have any material to perform. And I think the fact that in applied theatre, it’s very difficult to be passive as an audience member. That’s what’s really attractive about it for me. Yeah.
[00:22:54] Nicole Deen: As Ali shared earlier in the conversation, Rebus actively co-create their shows with actors and other people with lived experience to ensure that the content and messages they’re sharing are true and relevant to those they portray. So what does this co-creative process look like for a typical show Rebus puts on?
[00:23:12] Robin Davidson: I suppose one thing to start with in terms of talking about collaboration is that in Rebus, we almost always work with two directors. Sometimes they’re a lead director and assistant director. Sometimes it’s co-directors working as equals. So, I guess we are always modeling the idea that there is not one leader and there is not one voice of authority.
Different projects have different starting points, so some projects we go into where this is a show about this and it has a specific social intention. This is a show about the obstacles that people with disability experience in accessing the health system. That’s one of the shows we’ve created where it’s a very clear agenda. And anyone who’s involved knows what that agenda is when they come into it. And we are working to that brief. Other projects like “The Beauty Thief”, which was our last Flair project that I co-directed with Sammy Moynihan. We were working with the cast of people with disability to create a show. That was it. That was the sole brief that we were working to.
I had a particular interest at that point, personally in exploring working with less text. And more movement based work, but I wasn’t necessarily attached to that. And we played games and we got to know each other. And then at some point someone had mentioned fairytales, and I think one of the actors was interested in playing queens and princesses, and that was a thing which came up in some of the improvisation work. And we went, let’s look at a fairytale.
And then suddenly something shifted in the room. This was like quite a few weeks into the work. This was probably eight weeks in of meetings, three hours a week I think, and suddenly went, “oh, we’re creating a fairytale” that suddenly there’s the energy and there’s things kind of start to fall in place with each other. And we go, “oh, okay, we know the form”. I think we started with about two scenes from things which just come up from improvisation, and we just started going, so what might happen next? Or what might this character also do? And slowly, over a couple of months, we evolved that into a story.
[00:25:26] Nicole Deen: What Robin’s describing is a largely organic process of co-creation, where decisions are made collectively with everyone involved. However, does there come a pointy end in the process where he just has to make big decisions in his role as director?
[00:25:39] Robin Davidson: I don’t think there was a pointy end. Sometimes there’s points in the process where you go, now is the point where we are being a little bit less collaborative and I’m being a bit more of a director. Sometimes that’s a slow, gradual thing that doesn’t have a particular clear stop point. But at some point the people with most experience in how you make theatre work need to draw in their experience more to say, “no, that’s not gonna work”. And it’s tricky. I mean, there were quite a few things in that show where I kind of, went “I think this is gonna work better” and I was convinced that I was wrong and the show worked that way.
You know, there was quite a few things where I was holding onto a particular imagining I had, and the rest of the group just said, “no, that’s not it”. So I went alright. okay, that’s not it. But yeah, there are both in terms of just the practicality of how many people can be making decisions as you get close to production, there’s a lot of decisions made. There just isn’t time to make them all democratically.
And also, I mean, part of the role of the director is to be the audience of one, or in our case, an audience of two. We are the people who are not on the stage, and therefore we can see the stage and therefore we can go, no, that’s not working. Or, yes, that’s great, do more of that. The role of director is still important and still real, but it’s not an autocratic role.
[00:27:00] Nicole Deen: What Ali and Robin have described reminds me of an important role we often take on as co-creative facilitators that of space holder, listener, and enabler of creativity and change between people. From experience, we know that there’s such value in just putting people together to have a conversation where they feel valued and heard. It takes it to a whole new level when people get on stage and see themselves in others acting out their stories. Considering that Rebus often touch on sensitive topics in their shows, how do they create the conditions for people to step safely into that space and create something together?
[00:27:36] Ali Clinch: That term ‘conductor’ in playback and the term is ‘joker’ in forum. But in playback, I love the term conductor cause it’s that idea of orchestrating and bringing things together. And we use techniques as like a scaffolding technique where we don’t put anybody on the spot and we never force anybody to tell a story and our playback shows always start with, uh, personal offering from each of the performers where they’ll speak to that theme and tell a very short story to that theme.
And then, you know, sort of next step is to get the audience to open their mouths and speak. And to do that in a non-scary way is to to get them to talk to the person they’ve come with, “oh, okay. It’s okay to speak in this theatre”. We’re so used to going to a theatre “shhhh”, so it’s okay in this space we can talk to each other. Great, okay. You next step is to talk to someone you don’t know. And then you discover that, oh, that person wasn’t scary after all. And then it’s about creating that relationship so that they forget that it’s a stage and an audience, and that conductor is just a friend asking questions.
The other thing we do, quite simply, we don’t light the space the way you light a traditional theatre space. It’s the same with forum theatre. We don’t have the audience in the dark and the performers lit up really brightly. So that there’s this very clear divide between the two.
We usually have, you know, a little bit more light on the stage so that everyone looks healthy and well, but the audience is usually lit too, so that having to take that step across, it’s not a huge chasm, it’s just, it’s okay, we’re all here. And when we are working in conference spaces, we’re just in a conference room and there is no lighting. And then, again, same with forum theatre and playback theatre. We don’t start with, okay, well just jump up and show us that, or tell me a full story. We start with little moments. We start with little suggestions and it’s always, yes, let’s try that. Yes, we say yes, and let’s have a go. Would you say, Robin?
[00:29:38] Robin Davidson: Yeah, I think it’s interesting. They’re some of the very technical things that we do. I think there’s also just something about, we come in thinking this is a normal thing for human beings to do with each other. And that may be in our very contemporary urban lifestyle, it’s become less common, but, if we think of human history, then we sat around in circles around fires for hundreds of thousands of years, sharing stories every night. And this is a very normal human activity. And we just come in with that attitude and people recognize and go, yeah, this isn’t as weird as it felt like at first.
And I think connected with that is also being unafraid of silence, that sometimes you can ask a question. And the audience, it will take them time to know what their answers to that question is, and to find the courage to speak, and that’s okay, and that we can just wait in the silence and then someone will speak.
[00:30:44] Nicole Deen: It’s fascinating and so important to consider both the implicit and explicit steps that Rebus takes to create the conditions for people to feel comfortable to co-create something together. The concept of scaffolding, people’s participation of creating small invitations for people to feel comfortable in this space and to contribute are just as relevant to facilitating a co-creative process in the workplace as it is in theatre shows, Rebus producers.
Along with this scaffolding they provide in co-created shows with audience members, how else does Rebus create an environment where participants are able to collaborate and be creative together to lean into spaces of not knowing and being ready to be flexible and adapt to what’s thrown at them?
[00:31:26] Robin Davidson: I think the biggest part of that is just modeling. It is just doing it is being flexible and being collaborative. To some extent, that flexibility and collaboration are natural human attributes which have been suppressed in our society. So it’s less teaching people how to do something as reminding them that they already know how to do it and giving them permission to do it. Yeah.
[00:31:54] Ali Clinch: One of the games that we play with every single group that we work with is a game called Shoo Fing Pow, and the game is all about making mistakes and celebrating mistakes, and we play it always on the first day. It’s almost always in the first two hours of working with a group. And it frees everybody up to not only make a mistake publicly in front of everybody, but also that then the rest of the group’s like, “woo-hoo, you know, we made the mistake, fantastic”.
There’s an element in the scaffolding of the first sort of two hours of work that we do with people when we come together. We’re almost always in a circle. Everyone gets a chance to share, everybody gets a turn, and then there’s a strong element of play, which is Robin says, it’s like reminding us of our inner child. Reminding us of who we actually are outside of the rat race or the world that’s created around us. And then that innately builds this beautiful level of creativity and, and trust within the group, within the space.
And we often do, you know, yarning circle type work where there’s just space at the end of a session of a rehearsal where everybody just gets to speak uninterrupted just for a minute or two about how the experience was or what they’re taking away or, and so quite naturally from the shape of the group to the time that we spend in the games that we play, there’s this sense that you can make mistakes here. You’ll be heard here, you can laugh here and be silly here. And from that then, Creativity. It’s the ultimate environment for creativity to grow and flourish.
[00:33:29] Nicole Deen: Robin and Ali’s work at Rebus theatre and the co-creation that happens at so many levels that then influences how people think and behave on and off the stage highlight why this kind of work can be so potent and makes me think about what impact it could have on a much broader scale.
But it’s also a reminder that amazing things happen when we intentionally pay close attention and take part. As Robin has said, collaboration and creativity are often not things we need to learn. It is more about unlearning how not to be collaborative and creative. Creating intentional spaces and conditions to give people permission to be and work creatively and responsibly are essential practices in fostering more co-creative creativity in the world.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Collaboratory Conversation Series. Please like and share this podcast so others can find it. And if you have ideas of topics or issues you’d like to hear about in future episodes, please drop us a line at email@example.com or through our socials.
[00:34:31] Maya Haviland: Collaboratory is written, edited, and produced by me, Maya Haviland, with production and editorial assistance from Nicole Deen. Audio Engineering by Nick McCorriston. Music made especially for us by Seprock. Additional Research and production support by Yichen Li. Collaboratory is produced on the lands of the Ngunnawal, Ngambri, and Ngunawal people. We pay our respects and ongoing gratitude to the custodians past, present, and future of the lands on which we work and of the knowledges from which we learn. Collaboratory is a production of the Scaffolding Cultural Co-Creativity Project hosted by the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Funding is generously provided by the Australian National University Translational Fellowship scheme.