Carol Que is a writer and educator based in Naarm, born in Singapore and of Chinese descent. Her research revolves around visual cultures and histories of social movements, in particular theorising boycott as decolonising work. Carol works with artists, and organises alongside anti-racist grassroots groups. She has published in openDemocracy, Dissect Journal, The Jerusalem Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Overland. She has also worked with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art as an artist liaison, the Human Rights Art and Film Festival as a speakers coordinator, and Jadaliyya as an editor and researcher. Carol holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford, and is currently teaching media studies at the University of Melbourne
A Cultural Trust grant will see Carol travel to Beijing to complete a structured two-month mentoring program with globally renowned art theorist and curator Carol Yinghua Lu.
I first met Carol Yinghua Lu at the University of Melbourne in 2016, when I helped organise and facilitate the first session of Asian Art Dialogue, now consistently programmed at the university. As a young academic and creative, it was important for me to hear and learn from her those years ago, so I made the effort to stay in touch until the opportunity arose to collaborate. As someone with Chinese heritage, but has lived for most of my life outside of China and away from extended family, it has become increasingly important for me to seek out opportunities to reconnect and learn about Chinese culture and the arts. So I proposed to Carol Yinghua Lu that I support her with some archival work, in exchange for her mentorship with my arts research and writing to be undertaken in Beijing. It is a total privilege for me to have this opportunity, particularly a funded one with thanks to the Ian Potter Cultural Trust.
Under the guidance of Lu, she will work on a critical theory research essay on performance art activism in Beijing, to be published in both English and Chinese languages. The essay will represent a significant addition to her growing body of knowledge and work in the field of visual cultures surrounding social movements, and the artistic strategies used in activism.
The opportunity to be mentored by Lu will also mean gaining insight into the work of an influential and respected art curator and writer, and a window into the operations of Lu’s work directing the Beijing Inside-out Art Museum, while exposing Carol to new networks and the contemporary arts ecosystem in China.
We asked Carol if she had any tips for emerging writers in terms of approaching prospective mentors and developing self-initiated creative development programs like her own:
For emerging writers who are interested in undertaking something similar, do make the effort to connect with people who inspire and can empower you - but also remember that it is ultimately the relationships that you build that make a difference.
Carol will travel to Beijing to commence her mentorship with Carol Yinghua Lu in December 2018.
To find out more about Carol's work you can visit her website: https://carolque.work/