The Impact on Black Bodies

10 December 2021, 12:00:00 am

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Session Convenors

Dr Fiona Foley, Griffith University

Session Moderators

Dr Fiona Foley, Griffith University

Session Speakers

Dr Ali Baker, Flinders University
Dr Paola Balla, Victoria University
Amy McQuire, PhD Candidate, The University of Queensland

A new frontier of axiological violence will be examined through Aboriginal agency and scholarship. This panel discussion takes a look at the disciplines of Law, Indigenous Knowledge, History and Creative Research. Historical violence and black bodies are situated in a number of localities. Thought provoking art brings an insidious ambiguity of disruption to colonial power structures. Over time this has caused important or more challenging bodies of art not to be collected by the state. Differing views on silencing will be examined.

PAPER #1
The possibilities of deinstitutionalisation, grief, survivance and ancestral love

PRESENTER
Dr Ali Baker, Flinders University

This paper will consider Indigenous collective creative praxis in decolonising settler colonial institutions and re-matriating violent colonial archives. Indigenous artists, scholars and communities continue to engage in resistance to the ongoing institutionalisation and containment of our bodies and ideas. Where might concepts of ‘refusal’ (Simpson, 2007) and ‘visualizing sovereignty’ (Rickard, 2011) assist us? What are our future visions for institutions/archives?

PAPER #2
Responding to the notion of Impact on Black bodies through the ways that white institutions often claim that they are unable “Unable to place it.” It being us, our voices, our art, our stories as Blackfullas.

PRESENTER
Dr Paola Balla, Victoria University

I’d like to speak to the ways in which Aboriginal women artists work with practice led academic research in, with and for our families and communities to respond to the ongoing impact of ongoing colonial violence in various forms on Black bodies. In particular, I’d like to speak to the ways that the whiteness of colonial gallery institutions maintain a silencing of Black women’s work and voices and as a recent and significant voice on this, to cite you, Fiona as you state in Biting the Clouds, where you write about ‘a new frontier of axiological violence,’ which ‘has caused important or more challenging bodies’ of your work to ‘not be collected by major institutions throughout Australia.’ A prime example of where your work was not placed or valued permanently. I’d also like to respond to a perception that seems present in the white art world in colony Australia that Aboriginal women have parity with Aboriginal male artists in a way that white women artists don’t have parity with white male artists.

PAPER #3
Speaking back to silences through a methodology of ‘Presencing’

PRESENTER
Amy McQuire - PhD Candidate, The University of Queensland

The continuing issue of violence against women has gained greater attention in the media over the past couple of years, largely sparked by high-profile cases of upper middle class white women who have lost their lives. This coverage is highly needed, but there still remains a silence surrounding the deaths of Aboriginal women across the country. While there are attempts to ‘include’ Aboriginal women in coverage, through the use of horrifying statistics tacked onto news reports or media analysis, there is still a refusal to centre the unique experiences of Aboriginal women. In this session, I look at how the media continually silences Aboriginal women and contest this silencing through a methodology of ‘presencing’, which builds upon Anishinaabe scholar and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson concept of ‘Presencing’. I consider ‘Presencing’ to be a way in which we illuminate the resistances of Aboriginal women to multiple layers of overlapping violence through the voices of their family and communities.

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Biographies

Dr Fiona Foley, Griffith University

2018 Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University • 2011–17 Adjunct Professor, The University of Queensland • 2003–09 Adjunct Professor, Griffith University • 1987 Diploma of Education, Sydney Institute of Education, Sydney University • 1984– 86 Bachelor of Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts • 1982–83 Certificate of Arts, East Sydney Technical College  Fiona Foley is a founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artist Co-operative. She exhibits regularly in Australia and internationally. Her recent solo exhibitions were held at QUT Art Museum in 2021 and the National Art School, Sydney in 2020.  Foley completed her PhD with Griffith University in 2017.


Dr Paola Balla, Victoria University

Dr Paola Balla is a Wemba-Wemba & Gunditjmara woman who is a Senior Lecturer, & Director Teaching & Learning, Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre, Victoria University & is an artist, curator & writer. Her research & writing focus on Blak women’s sovereign love, resistance, contributions & disruptions of racism & colonisation. Recent publications include; including ‘Work to Be Done,’ Freize, (2018) & ‘Dark Mofo doesn’t deserve our blood...’ The Conversation (2021) & co-editor, Blak Brow-Blak Women’s Edition (2018). Curatorial projects include Sovereignty, ACCA (2016) and Unfinished Business; perspectives on art & feminism (2017) & Executed in Franklin Street (2014)


Amy McQuire, PhD Candidate, The University of Queensland


Dr Ali Baker, Flinders University

Dr Ali Gumillya Baker is a Mirning person whose maternal family are from the Nullarbor. Ali lives and works on Kaurna Country. She is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Lead for Indigenous and Australian Studies in the College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University. Her research work is engaged with Indigenous perspectives on colonial archives, anti-racist praxis, critical collective love, and intergenerational knowledge transmission. She is an artist, writer, curator and member of the Unbound Collective.