Each of us who is not Indigenous to this land is complicit in the ongoing process of its colonisation; of environments, animals and people. While capitalism teaches us to take the land for granted and to forget its autonomy, for the people whose land this is, our presence cannot be unfelt. In this workshop we ask: what does it mean to be unwelcomed on and by land?
Even the most well-meaning settler-coloniser inhabits this country thinking that our presence is benign or passive. But settlers move through and on land in ways that are fundamentally extractive, that position the world in service to us. White supremacy and anti Bla(c)kness brutally differentiate the experiences and conditions of settlement, and the same practices render the land fungible, commodifiable. Western science tells us that green space is good for our health so settlers flock to forests and rivers, traverse national parks, plant gardens and shape the soil, without questioning our place to do so. At the same time we profit off dispossession and ecocide, through economies of mining, fracking, industrial farming and land clearing. With each action, we enforce an idea of land existing entirely in relation to us - for our benefit alone. We ask the world to make us feel good and to sustain us, without permission and without deep knowing.
In this workshop we will consider how we individually and collectively inhabit this land. We will unfold what it means to be on land that never invited us. We will reflect on the presumptions of innocence and goodness that inform our everyday practices - the ways in which we avoid addressing ourselves and our daily complicities, the ways we disassociate ourselves, the ways we continue coloniser relations with or without intent. We will talk about the erasure that comes from generations of genocide and deliberate silencing. We will explore what it means to listen, even when we think there is nothing to hear. We will delve into feelings of what cannot be reconciled, where both staying and leaving might feel impossible.
Kanngieser A and Laniyuk 2020 Un-ear-thing | Unwanted Workshop. Liquid Architecture, Melbourne. 5-12 August