Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=603241
 


 



Portrait of the Artist as a White Man: The International Law of Human Rights and Aboriginal Culture


Fleur E. Johns


University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law; Faculty of Law, University of NSW


Australian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 16, pp. 175-197, 1995

Abstract:     
The collective and individual rights at stake in the legal protection of rights central to Australian indigenous peoples' cultural heritage and cultural practice are inseparable. Undue focus upon one set of rights may jeopardize the other. Indiscriminate exercise by indigenous and non-indigenous individuals of rights to freedom of artistic expression may be contested as cultural appropriation, or a misuse or violation of group rights. Equally, giving precedence to group rights might arguably justify cultural stagnation and the stultification of creative experiment - the cherishing of passive and protective cultural rights at the expense of ongoing cultural practice. This article will examine the degree to which international human rights law is able to negotiate these conflicts. It is argued in this article that the right of self-determination (conceived of as a broad, substantive right to the means by which choices and decisions can be made) is the best conceptual container to which to extrust the preservation and continuity of indigenous art and culture(s).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: International human rights law, indigenous peoples, cultural heritage, freedom of expression, self-determination

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Date posted: October 14, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Johns, Fleur E., Portrait of the Artist as a White Man: The International Law of Human Rights and Aboriginal Culture. Australian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 16, pp. 175-197, 1995. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=603241

Contact Information

Fleur E. Johns (Contact Author)
University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )
Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia
Faculty of Law, University of NSW ( email )
Faculty of Law
University of NSW
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
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