Skip Links
Close Dialog

Compassion As Activism

Kirstin Shirling

The refugee crisis makes many people feel helpless –but Kirstin Shirling proves one person can make a difference. Join her as she speaks about her time in France's notorious refugee camp, The Jungle. 

Chaired by Lucy Clark.

In the Studio.

“Kirstin is authentic and wonderful, with a strong set of personal values. She always acts with integrity.”
Lucy Perman MBE
Executive Director, Clean Break Theatre Company

Action in the European refugee crisis

Human migration will be the defining issue of this century. More than one million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe last year. In the face of a crisis of this magnitude, it's easy to feel helpless – what possible impact could one person have?

As the news filled with desperate stories of people seeking safety, Kirstin Shirling felt called to action. The theatre maker arrived in the unofficial refugee camp in Calais, France, known as The Jungle, in 2015. Despite the enormity of this political and humanitarian disaster, she made it her mission to honour the humanity of every single person she encountered.

Kirstin's story of creative altruism reveals that every small act of compassion matters. 

More about Kirstin Shirling...

A self-described 'kindness warrior', Kirstin specialises in producing work that brings together artists and communities. She is a passionate advocate for arts and culture for everyone, and has worked with cultural institutions including The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Young Vic Theatre in London, and with Good Chance Theatre in the refugee camp in Calais, France. Most recently, she worked with Good Chance in Paris on a project which united hundreds of refugees with artists and volunteers from across Europe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Plan your festival…

Tamika D. Mallory - The Women's March on Washington
12.30pm, 3 Sep 2017
The impact of the largest single-day protest in US history is explained by one of the women who made it happen. An unmissable conversation with a powerhouse political organiser.
Clare Holland - What We Do After Dark
3pm, 3 Sep 2017
Join FBi Radio Managing Director and local music lover Clare Holland in fighting the culture war that's targeting Sydney's young audiences.
All Day, 3 Sep 2017
20,000 helium balloons. Nine hours. One woman. A unique, one-time-only meditative experience exclusive to Sydney.

Support your Opera House

The Opera House is a not for profit organisation. Help us inspire through the power of art and ideas.

Make a gift