Your worst nightmares are about to become a reality, Melburnians — in forums, games, conversations and art, that is. If you spend too much time thinking about pandemics, epidemics, disease, extinction, disasters and global warming, then consider Refuge 2018: Pandemic further fuel for thought about the health impacts of climate change.
Taking place at North Melbourne Town Hall across August 29 to September 1, the four-day event will ponder the science, scares and questions that pandemic scenarios give rise to in an array of fascinating ways. In interactive game Isolate and Contain! Mapping the Pandemic, you'll build an imaginary virus and map out its spread, while What If? takes you through hypothetical disaster drills — and Practicing for a Disaster will send the Australian Red Cross to homes in North Melbourne and West Melbourne to help them get prepared.
Or, you can explore past outbreaks through audio-visual work We Contain Multitudes; try to find a cure to a deadly disease in Outbreak, which is described as part immersive theatre, part escape room; and ponder the very real plight of honey bees in Apitherapy Quarantine. Plus, everything on the program is free — except a survival-focused Supper Club, which combines chats with immunologists, survivalists, anarchists, virologists and ethicists with a meal and drinks.