⬤ Cementa 19 May - 22 May 2022
At the first ever Cementa festival in 2013, “Welcome to Kandos” posters were pasted up all over the town. Created by artist Ian Milliss, the poster celebrated Kandos’s solar thermal power station (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere), its locally-made lightwood plywood bicycles, a Botanical Garden blossoming from the defunct Cement works and Kandos University, home of the flagship School of Cultural Adaptation, training future leaders to fight against climate disaster. These posters triggered divergent responses from curious visitors and local residents, who knew such things did not exist in the town. For Milliss the poster was a serious joke—both satirical and sincere. It functioned as a provocative imagining of the Kandos that might be reborn from its sluggish post-industrial state. In fact, the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation (KSCA) was actualised as an artistic collective in 2016, and has since been pursuing a range of initiatives experimenting with cultural change in areas such as agriculture, regional planning and food production. Both KSCA and Milliss’s poster have become central to the orienting vision of the biannual Cementa festival, now in its fifth iteration.