Meet Kat Roma Greer
Kat creatively leads the global arts initiative Micro Galleries, was named as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence for Culture. Kat has recently returned from the prestigious The Arctic Circle Residency and Al Gore’s Climate Leadership Corps, where she continued her research and activations on climate disruption art and the role of artists in this vital issue. Kat is based in Asia and works as an urban disruptor and creator of public art interventions that focus on positive social change.
What do you believe?
That small change is vital. I was always told to make big change, loads of change, as much change as I could muster, and make my mark on the world. Growing up in regional Australia, during the recession, when global reach was a spark on the periphery of my neighbours barely-working Commodore 64, this seemed like a huge ask. Yet for some reason I can only imagine was seeded by my repeated readings of “Little Women”, I believed anything was possible and was intent on some big moves. I dragged myself through several jobs, several degrees, several universities and then unintentionally found myself in Hong Kong, an accidental Artistic Director, curator of public art interventions; an urban disruptor of sorts who prides herself in performing a type of social acupuncture, using art as a vehicle for positive change, happily making no “big” change at all. Instead, I am part of an incredible community of people, each doing small things to make small change in small places – but it’s so deep, powerful and important that I can’t help believing small change is perhaps the secret to big change in this world.
What is your favorite quote?
Gosh – can I have two!? (Yes)
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Good ol’ Oscar Wilde could nail a great quote. I kind of came from the gutter, and now have the privilege of spending a lot of time with people from what other people would consider the gutter. And it is here I meet people with the most incredible ideas, resilience, hopes, dreams, determination, and visions for the future. They are also always the people who have the least, and yet often give the most. I think the gutter is a great place to be if you keep looking for the beauty and magic in the world.
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” Rebecca West. I had this stuck up on my wall as a kid. Fortunately, I have gone on to form my beliefs about what feminism is to me – and unfortunately, I still find her assessment accurate.
What’s the best advice you have ever given?
A friend of mine has recently found some fantastic success in her endeavours and already is being pulled down by people around her, and I wish that what I said to her, I had said to myself long ago: Don’t mute yourself. Women in particular are always told they are too much, too loud, too opinionated, too political. Fuck that. Be as much of you as you can possibly harness into every moment of your life and channel it into the most positive actions you can think of; if people can’t handle it, that’s ok, let them walk away into a more muted environment. I want electro-colour, not beige and benign.
How long do you think you would you survive the zombie apocalypse? Why?
It’s about now I realize that all of my life values have not served me well for this challenge. I hate horror movies, I’m anti-gun, I’m probably not going to take orders from men, and I’m always the last to know any gossip so I’ll also be oblivious to it occurring until I’m being munched. On the bright side, I think I’d make a cracking good zombie!!
What's the most outrageous thing you have ever done (that you can share)?
For some insane reason, I thought it would be a good idea to take my 5 year old son hiking with me in Nepal for 3 days. It was, like everything with parenting I’ve discovered, outrageously horrifying and brilliant at the same time. Standing with barely concealed fury as he insisted on picking up EVERY rock on the path and loading them into his pockets, whining about the length of the walk whilst we met children who lived in the Himalayas and walked the same distance every day (twice) just to get to school, and luring him most of the way with chocolate biscuits – it was a challenge. But cuddling at night together in tea houses, chattering away along paths, watching him finish it almost entirely on his own (chocolate biscuit-fuelled), and knowing that having kids doesn’t mean you need to stop doing great stuff, it just means you need to come at things differently and the experience will be outrageously different – all worth the mild outrageousness, as well as proof that when other people tell you your idea is outrageous, it really doesn’t matter!