Visual Power and Sovereignty: Indigenous Art and Colonialism
M. Brown and E. Carrabine (eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology, Routledge, Milton Park, ISBN 9781138888630, pp376-388
16 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2017
The focus of this chapter is Indigenous art in the context of the themes of sovereignty, power and resistance. Colonial and postcolonial identities, law, colonialism and sovereignty are key concepts which permeate the relationship between Indigenous art and the settler colonial states of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA. Indigenous artists constantly engage colonialism, law, and the criminal justice system as subject matters. Their work is a rich source of knowledge, documentation and insight into the inner workings of an oppressive state formation and modes of resistance. But it is also much more: Indigenous art is an assertion of Indigenous visual sovereignty contextualized within specific knowledges, ontologies and epistemologies. Indigenous visual images challenge ideas of justice, the narratives of triumphalism that underpin the story of nation building in settler colonial societies, and require us to rethink the underpinning knowledge assumptions of administrative and authoritarian criminologies.
Keywords: Indigenous art, Colonialism, Indigenous knowledges, Indigenous sovereignty
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