BILYA is an online relational map of people, projects, and organisations engaging with the climate emergency through artistic and cultural practice.

We're in climate emergency

We are living in a period of ‘un-ness’ – the complex unprecedented, unexpected, uncertain, unstable, unpredictable, unknowable, and the unimaginable. This is the climate emergency: the greatest threat to the arts & culture ecosystem – and humanity.

Without the luxury of time, we must urgently find new ways to collaborate, experiment, and plan. We must re-orient our practices, bolster our capacities, amplify our voices, share resources, and untether from old ways of working.


What if there was a way to connect all the different people working in the intersection of art & climate – those who create, commission, research, fund, and develop resources? A way to support deeper transdisciplinary collaboration – across climate adaptation, social sciences, social justice, software design, Indigenous data sovereignty, culture, and the arts?

What is Bilya?

'Bilya’ is the Noongar word for river. The root of the word 'bily' means navel or belly button, a power hub of nerve endings and sensations. It is a network of movement and relations – giving life, connecting to the sky, and feeding land.

Grounded in First Nations protocols and knowledge systems, Bilya is an interactive relational map that will help organise & build capacity in the sector by supporting people (artists, orgs, funders, researchers) connect, learn, archive, collaborate, and share knowledge and resources.

We tested Bilya in beta form at APAM 2023. With investment from Creative Australia and Australian National University, we are now co-developing the next iteration.

We held a full-day development lab on 12 June 2024 at ANU.

. Read the Lab Report


Dr. Jen Rae

Jen Rae (PhD) is an award-winning artist and researcher of Canadian Scottish-Métis (Indigenous) descent living on unceded Djaara Country (Castlemaine) Australia. She is recognised for her practice and expertise situated at the intersections of art, speculative futures and climate emergency disaster adaptation + resilience – predominantly articulated through transdisciplinary collaborations, multi-platform projects, community alliances and public pedagogies. Most noteworthy was her role as a core artist of Arts House’s prescient REFUGE project (2016-2022) - where artists, emergency service providers and communities worked together to rehearse climate-related emergencies exploring the impact of creativity in disaster preparedness. In 2022, Jen co-designed and facilitated the City of Melbourne’s emergency drill exercise and was a keynote speaker at the 2022 National Summit: From Risk to Resilience – an event informing the national framework on disaster risk reduction and resilience. She is a Co-founder and the Creative Research Lead at the Centre for Reworlding, a member of the National Task Force for Creative Recovery, and was awarded a prestigious 2023 Creative Australia Fellowship for Emerging and Experimental Art. In 2024, Jen was awarded Australian National University’s H.C. Creative Arts Fellowship and the University of Wisconsin’s International Visiting Artist Residency.

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia. She was born in Boorloo (Perth) and is currently based in Naarm. Her debut novel Terra Nullius [2017], published in Australia and in the US, won a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and an Aurealis Award. Her second novel is The Old Lie [2019], followed by Lies, Damn Lies [2021] unpacks the damages of colonisation, and her new book Enclave was released in July 2022. Her essays, poetry, short fiction, and art criticism has been published in the Saturday Paper, Guardian, Spectrum, Meanjin, Griffith Review and many others. Claire is a Co-founder and Lead Writer at the Centre for Reworlding and is currently working on a commissioned play for the Malthouse Theatre.

Harry Shang Lun Lee (李尚倫)

Harry Lee is an antidisciplinary artist of Chinese Malaysian Australian descent living on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. They are the Director of PlayReactive, a play-making collective based in Melbourne, producing video games, interactive theatre, and installation pieces. Shang Lun was a core artist of Arts House’s REFUGE project. In 2018, they made Mapping the Pandemic in collaboration with researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Immunology and Virology.

The Centre for Reworlding (C∞R) – a collective of Indigenous, people of colour, settler and LGBTIQA2S+ artists, scientists, thinkers and doers with a track record of collaboratively working at the intersections of art, the climate emergency leadership, speculative futures and disaster resilience. C∞R aims to bolster inclusive cross-sectoral collaboration and creative leadership in climate emergency response and action including prioritising the mainstream integration of arts and culture in national climate emergency discourses, policy frameworks and tertiary education. Their growing body of critical work, informed by First Nations knowledge systems and protocols subverts conventional platforms for engagement in the climate emergency.

Centre for Reworlding
The Center for Reworlding acknowledges that the support of Creative Australia, Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) and Australian National University through the H.C. Coombs Creative Fellowship in the formation and development of BILYA.