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

See all articles by Chris Cunneen

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney; University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences; James Cook University - Cairns Campus

Date Written: May 1, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cunneen, Chris, Visual Power and Sovereignty: Indigenous Art and Colonialism (May 1, 2017). M. Brown and E. Carrabine (eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology, Routledge, Milton Park, ISBN 9781138888630, pp376-388. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094055

Chris Cunneen (Contact Author)

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

PO Box 6811
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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