Damien Shen: On the Fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-09-18 22:23Z by Steven

Damien Shen: On the Fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia
400 Worrell Drive
Peter Jefferson Place
Charlottesville, Virginia 22911
September 2016


Damien Shen

The only museum in the United States dedicated to the exhibition and study of Australian Aboriginal Art

September 9 – December 18, 2016

On the Fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body is an exhibition of drawings, prints and photographs by artist Damien Shen (Ngarrindjeri, Chinese). Shen began unearthing stories of his Aboriginal ancestry after the death of his grandmother. While researching historical records, he discovered that the skeletal remains of more than 500 Ngarrindjeri people had been stolen by an Australian coroner and sent to a scientist in Scotland for the purpose of comparative anatomy. Shen has drawn portraits of both men, along with that of Boorborrowie, a Ngarriindjeri man whose remains were later repatriated to Australia. Through these works, Shen exposes this buried history and questions the acclaim given to men of science.

Believing that the removal and scientific analysis of human remains divorces the body from its spirit, Shen uses his art practice to “reintroduce the spirit.” The exhibition takes its title from an etching in which Shen has superimposed customary Ngarrindjeri body paint designs onto a figure drawn in the style of 16th century European anatomical drawings. In drawing these designs, which are also shown in the photographs of Shen being painted for the first time, the artist celebrates the unity of the spirit and body in Ngarrindjeri culture…

For more information, click here.

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Profile: Damien Shen

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-09-14 23:37Z by Steven

Profile: Damien Shen

The Adelaide Review
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2014-09-08

Jane Llewellyn


Damien Shen

While Damien Shen was on a two-week trip exploring Australia’s major galleries, it occurred to him that art is about telling stories.

“Creating art is not just about technical ability, it’s about the story and it’s also about how you express the story… if you can pull all those things together you can reach the next level,” Shen explains.

To reach the next level, Shen is looking at his own story and drawing on it in his work. As he nears 40 years of age, Shen is approaching his practice with a newfound maturity that wasn’t available to him before.

“It’s been such a rapid progression,” he says.

“It was almost meant to happen this late. If it happened any earlier I would have been too immature.”…

…In the midst of the course, Shen’s Aboriginal grandmother passed away and he started considering his family history – he is Chinese/Aboriginal – and decided he wanted to document it. From there things happened quickly for Shen. He started drawing again, held his first exhibition (Drawing on the Heroes Who Shape Us at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Artspace Gallery), and won the NAIDOC South Australian Artist of the Year award…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race Identities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Oceania, Social Science on 2016-08-29 18:35Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Routledge
2016-12-20
280pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781138677708

Edited by:

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Kirsten McGavin, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Anthropology)
School of Social Science
University of Queensland

This volume offers a “southern,” Pacific Ocean perspective on the topic of racial hybridity, exploring it through a series of case studies from around the Australo-Pacific region, a region unique as a result of its very particular colonial histories. Focusing on the interaction between “race” and culture, especially in terms of visibility and self-defined identity; and the particular characteristics of political, cultural and social formations in the countries of this region, the book explores the complexity of the lived mixed race experience, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixed-ness.

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“I’m Aboriginal. I’m Just Not The Aboriginal You Expect Me To Me.” // REVIEW OF “Am I Black Enough For You?” By Anita Heiss #AWW2016

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania on 2016-08-17 02:31Z by Steven

“I’m Aboriginal. I’m Just Not The Aboriginal You Expect Me To Me.” // REVIEW OF “Am I Black Enough For You?” By Anita Heiss #AWW2016

A Keyboard and An Open Mind: The Blog of Avid Reader and Writer, Emily Witt
2016-08-15

Emily Witt

Title: Am I Black Enough For You?
Author: Anita Heiss
Genre: Memoir/Non-fiction
Date Read: 01/08/2016 – 09/08/2016
Rating: ★★★★

Normally memoirs don’t really get more than three stars from me. It’s not that they’re terrible, just that they’re not a genre I have much interest in, so even if I find the writer interesting, that’s not necessarily the case for the writing itself. Fortunately, I found Anita Heiss’ memoir to be thought-provoking and easy to read, and it helped me to understand how our Aboriginal Australians form their identity.

In 2009, Anita Heiss found herself as one of seventeen successful Aboriginal people targeted by “journalist” (I use that term loosely) Andrew Bolt, who accused them in his nationally-distributed newspaper column, as well as online, of “choosing” to identify as Aboriginal to further their careers. Four of these Aboriginal people took Bolt, and the Herald and Weekly Times to court, arguing that he had breached the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). They won the case…

Read the entire review here.

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Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific: The Children of Indigenous Women and U.S. Servicemen, World War II

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, United States on 2016-08-17 01:50Z by Steven

Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific: The Children of Indigenous Women and U.S. Servicemen, World War II

University Of Hawai’i Press
April 2016
424 pages
95 b&w illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8248-5152-1

Edited by:

Judith A. Bennett, Professor of History
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Angela Wanhalla, Associate Professor of History
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Like a human tsunami, World War II brought two million American servicemen to the South Pacific where they left a human legacy of some thousands of children. Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific traces the intimate relationships that existed in the wartime South Pacific between U.S. servicemen and Indigenous women, and considers the fate of the resulting children. The American military command carefully managed intimate relationships in the Pacific Theater, applying U.S. immigration law based on race on Pacific peoples of color to prevent marriage “across the color line.” For Indigenous women and their American servicemen sweethearts, legal marriage was impossible, giving rise to a generation of children known as “G.I. Babies.” Among these Pacific war children, one thing common to almost all is the longing to know more about their American father. Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific traces these children’s stories of loss, emotion, longing, and identity, and of lives lived in the shadow of global war.

This book considers the way these relationships developed in the major U.S. bases of the South Pacific Command from Bora Bora in the east across to Solomon Islands in the west, and from the Gilbert Islands in the north to New Zealand, in the southernmost region of the Pacific. Some chapters consider in-depth case studies of the life trajectories of one or two people; others are more of a group portrait. Each discusses the context of the particular island societies and how this often determined the way such intimate relationships developed and were accommodated during the war years and beyond.

The writers interviewed many of the children of the Americans and some of the few surviving mothers as well as others who recalled the wartime presence in their islands. Oral histories reveal what the records of colonial governments and the military largely have ignored, providing a perspective on the effects of the U.S. occupation that until now has been disregarded by historians of the Pacific war. The richness of this book should appeal to those interested the Pacific, World War II, as well as intimacy, family, race relations, colonialism, identity, and the legal structures of U.S. immigration.

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Secrets of Nation

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Oceania, United States, Women on 2016-07-26 01:20Z by Steven

Secrets of Nation

Inside Story
2016-07-15

Ann McGrath, Professor of History, Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History
Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory


Middle ground: detail from Bartering for a Bride, or The Trappers Bride, by Alfred Jacob Miller, c. 1845. Wikipedia Commons

The buried secrets of Australia’s frontier share features with encounters in the United States, writes Ann McGrath

By the 1960s, when I was growing up there, Queensland had become skilled at burying the Aboriginal past, and Queenslanders spoke about its traces in hushed tones. As a child, I wondered why. I recall a particular day when my grandfather Joe whispered that some of his neighbours had a “touch of the tarbrush.” “What does that mean?” I had no clue. He told me that it meant Aboriginal ancestry. I was flummoxed by these comments, which seemed out of character. A tram driver for most of his working life, Joe had refused promotion because the new job would have involved punishing people who could not afford to pay. A son of the Great Depression, he respected hardworking men and women. I had never before heard him say anything that sounded discriminatory or racist.

Only after years of archival research into Australian history did I realise why it was necessary to speak about such topics in a whisper. Unions between Aboriginal women and white men were against the law. You did not want the police to hear. You did not want your neighbours to suffer the shame and the punishment of fines or incarceration. Where Joe grew up in north Queensland, white men went to jail for cohabiting with Aboriginal women. Worse, with marriage prohibited and Aboriginal marriage law not recognised, their children were classed as “illegitimate.” Aboriginal wives and children were taken away.

Keeping these “secrets of nation” as family secrets became common sense, and hence a deeply ingrained practice. Not only had Aboriginal people supposedly just “gone” from the urban and rural landscape with no heroic battles, but according to what we were taught in primary school, it was as if they had never even shared the same spaces. Let alone fallen in love, married, and loved their children.

When I became a historian, I started to investigate the history of race and colonialism, and eventually came to the topic of intermarriage across colonising boundaries. The history of love, above and beyond other themes, seemed to promise gendered clues that might help people understand what lay beneath the surface of history, clues to buried, intimate secrets – the private stuff that makes our nations tick…

Read the entire article here.

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‘A New Holland Half-Caste’: Sealer and Whaler Tommy Chaseland

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-06-15 22:31Z by Steven

‘A New Holland Half-Caste’: Sealer and Whaler Tommy Chaseland

History Australia
Volume 5, Issue 1, 2008
pages 08.1-08.15
DOI: 10.2104/ha080008

Lynette Russell, Professor
Monash University, Australia

This article discusses the life of Tommy Chaseland, a ‘half-caste’ Aboriginal son of a convict who became a renowned sealer and whaler and emigrated to New Zealand in the early part of the nineteenth century. Once located in the New Zealand south islands Chaseland became Tame Titirene – a legendary Southlands figure. Chaseland’s story offers us a glimpse of nineteenth century agency in which Aboriginal people were able to participate in the new social structures which had emerged from the establishment of European colonies. The maritime industries of sealing and whaling provided an avenue for financial gain which enabled entrepreneurial men like Chaseland to set their own destiny. This article has been peer-reviewed.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Hybrid by Robert Wood

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2016-06-15 16:25Z by Steven

Hybrid by Robert Wood

Mascara Literary Review
2015-10-04

Robert Wood

Robert Wood grew up in a multicultural household in Perth. He holds degrees from the Australian National University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a National Undergraduate Scholar and a Benjamin Franklin Fellow respectively. He has edited for Margaret River Press, Wild Dingo Press and Overland, and volunteered for the Small Press Network, Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Books through Bars. He has published work in literary journals such as Southerly, Plumwood Mountain and Counterpunch and a academic journals including Foucault Studies, JASAL and Journal of Poetics Research. He currently hosts a reading and conversation series at The School of Life and is a regular contributor to Cultural Weekly. His next book, heart-teeth, is due out from Electio Editions later this year.

What is the hybrid to do?

I have passed as a white man for most of my life. I have a name – Robert Wood – that is invisible in the hegemonic Anglo society of suburban Australia. I have a body that if a little tanned, a little hook nosed, a little ‘Latin’ or ‘Mediterranean’, is nevertheless unthreateningly, benignly unnoticeable. I present in dress and language, in what Pierre Bourdieu called habitus, as white. But I am also a person of colour. My mother is brown. She is Malayalee from Kerala in South India. Although there are degrees of complexity and complexion in the vales and folds of family history, through her I participate in a network of colouredness. Colouredness means both the aesthetic reality of the body itself, how we look, and the political meaning of bodies, how we are represented. In other words my mother’s skin is literally not ‘white’ (or for that matter ‘pink’, ‘yellow’ or ‘black’) and we have a shared history of colonial oppression that is racially based, which involves the British, the Portugese and northern India…

Read the entire article here.

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Amrita Hepi’s New Dance Collab Explores Authenticity, Race & The Politics Of Passing

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing, Women on 2016-06-01 18:06Z by Steven

Amrita Hepi’s New Dance Collab Explores Authenticity, Race & The Politics Of Passing

Oyster
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia
2016-05-10

Jerico Mandybur

Local hero Amrita Hepi is showcasing her new dance piece ‘Passing’ — with costumes by Honey Long and sound by Laverne of Black Vanilla — alongside Jahra Rager at Next Wave Festival this week. To celebrate, we linked her up with another one of our fave woke ladies, Jerico Mandybur, and they chatted through identity, the WOC diaspora and the politics of passing.

Get to know the story behind the stellar performance piece below (before you make the good life choice to head along to Next Wave and see it IRL).

Jerico Mandybur: Hey! So it’s called ‘Passing’, can you talk to me about what naming it that means, and basically what the concept of “passing” means in relation to the work?

Amrita Hepi: Well, we came up with the idea of naming it ‘Passing’, because the work itself kind of matched bodies under pressure. So the idea of women of colour and their intersections, and what it means to be of many world races and titles, and I guess when you’re “passing” there’s always this kind of fear of inauthenticity, which is something that’s very human that we all feel. But in relation to the work, it was just feeling like we were constantly only just passing, and there was this fear of almost like being discovered as something other than what we were. Does that make sense? [Laughs]…

Read the entire interview here.

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Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

University of Arizona Press
2016-05-28
232 pages
6.00 x 9.00
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8165-0251-6

Judy Rohrer, Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (ICSR); Assistant Professor in Diversity and Community Studies
University of Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Exploring how racialization is employed to further colonialism

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i exists at a global crosscurrent of indigeneity and race, homeland and diaspora, nation and globalization, sovereignty and imperialism. In order to better understand how settler colonialism works and thus move decolonization efforts forward, Staking Claim analyzes competing claims of identity, belonging, and political status in Hawai’i.

Author Judy Rohrer brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse (local media and literature), and Hawai’i scholarship. Her analysis exposes how racialization works to obscure—with the ultimate goal of eliminating—native Hawaiian indigeneity, homeland, nation, and sovereignty.

Staking Claim argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai’i. It encourages us to think beyond a settler-native binary by analyzing the ways racializations of Hawaiians and various non-Hawaiian settlers and arrivants bolster settler colonial claims, structures, and white supremacist ideologies.

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