John Curtin Gallery has hosted a sell-out panel discussion- Matters of Appearance: Black Lives Matter and Decolonising Visual Culture in Noongar Boodjah.
The event focussed on the meaning and significance of the visual projection of political appearance and creative activism; and the decolonisation of public space in the context of the Black Lives Matters movement and its manifestation in Western Australia.
Convenor John Curtin Distinguished Professor Suvendrini Perera, said the event was a thought-provoking and timely discussion.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement took hold in the United States, remarkable public art works were created almost overnight, while monuments to slavery and colonial violence were brought down,” Professor Perera said.
“Locally, in solidarity with the BLM protests, the names of some of the hundreds of Indigenous people who have died in custody were projected on a landmark sculpture, “Rainbow” by Marcus Canning in Fremantle. The projections bring into focus relations of place, visibility, history and the resonance of the BLM movement in WA, the state with the largest number of Indigenous deaths in custody.
“In this panel discussion we wanted to explore this further to look at the meaning and significance of visual projection and using creativity and art as a tool of activism and as a way of decolonising visual culture in WA.”
Panellists included prominent Indigenous academics and commentators, Curtin Senior Indigenous research Fellow Hannah McGlade, WA Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Curator Michelle Broun, CEO of the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance WA Shaheen Hughes and Princeton University Assistant Professor of African American and Black Diaspoira Art Anna Arabindan-Kesson.
Matters of Appearance: Black Lives Matter and Decolonising Visual Culture in Noongar Boodjah was co-sponsored by Curtin University’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry and the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance WA and was held at the John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University on Wednesday, 26 August.