Professor Juan Francisco Salazar

Professor, Communications, School of Humanities
and Communication Arts

Juan Francisco Salazar was born in Santiago, Chile, and migrated to Sydney in 1998. For the past fifteen years he has lived along the Cooks River, in unceded Gadigal, Wangal and D'harawal Country.

He is a researcher, author and videographer who engages with communities and places where the environmental and cultural challenges of living sustainably are starkly exposed. His academic and creative work explores the coupled dynamics of social-ecological change and is underpinned by a collaborative ethos across the arts, artists, science and activism. He holds a PhD in Communication and Media from Western Sydney University (2005) and a Bachelor of Anthropology from the University of Chile (1995). In 2020 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to continue a decade long cultural research on Antarctica and new work on social studies of outer space.

Juan has led participatory research projects in Western Sydney and Central Australia; in Northern Chile and in the Wallmapu; in the Colombian Caribbean coast; as well as in Vanuatu, Cambodia, and Antarctica. He has developed collaborations with organizations in Sydney such as The Australian Museum, The Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences, The Biennale of Sydney, Information + Cultural Exchange as well as internationally, including Proboscis Studio (UK) and the Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH).
His films and video installations include: Anatomia Monumental (1999), De la Tierra a la Pantalla (2004); 33˚South (with Sarah Waterson, 2008); Nightfall on Gaia (2015) and The Bamboo Bridge (with Katherine Gibson, 2019). These have been exhibited in prestigious venues and festivals including: Serpentine Gallery (London 2022); Biennale of Sydney (2022); London International Documentary Film Festival (2021); Vision du Reel (Nyon 2020); CPHDOX (Copenhagen 2015); Antenna Film Festival (Sydney 2015 and 2019); Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2008); Museo de las Americas (Denver 2005); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Santiago 1999).

Juan is a member of the editorial board of the journals, The Polar Journal, Media+Environment and Cultural Anthropology. His work has appeared on The Sydney Review of Books, The Conversation, The New Matilda, The Miami Rail.