FRAMING

Text: Sonja Hornung (hosting artist)

Between 1965 and 1975, in Berlin’s northeastern borough, Pankow, an architectural experiment was carried out. A total of 135 embassies and diplomatic residencies were built from scratch from just four prefabricated, modular designs. Swathes of Pankow, until 1961 the seat of power of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED), were transformed into East Berlin’s diplomatic quarters, with 46 versions of the ‘Pankow’ model built around ‘Die Esplanade’ west of Vinetastraße, and 82 versions of the ‘Magdeburg’ and ‘Gera’ models scattered throughout the borough. The third model, the Ingenieurhochbau (IHB), was realised by the ‘VEB Bau- und Montagekombinat Ingenieurhochbau Berlin’ collective. It was realised just seven times from three variegated versions, and consisted of a prefabricated skeleton: a concrete-steel grid with horizontal intervals of 7.2m and vertical intervals of 3.3m. Once installed onsite, this skeleton was mounted with white concrete slabs and a carrara wash finish, also prefabricated. The following diagrams (made while reading one of the few studies on the GDR’s embassy-building experiment, dug out of the archives of the Technische Universität Berlin) demonstrate the IHB’s modular nature and its three variations – IHB/I, IHB/II and IHB/III:

 

The IHB’s architectural legacy has been traced variously back to Bauhaus, the International Style, and the flat-roofed, segmented embassies and consulates constructed by the US in the 1950s in Havana and Düsseldorf. However, its technical lineage lies in the art of prefabrication, perfected in the GDR in mass housing projects beginning in the early 1950s in Hoyerswerda and culminating in Berlin’s Marzahn of the late 1980s. This one-size-fits-all approach encapsulates the aspirational mode of engaged socialist modernism. The new diplomatic buildings rolled out in Pankow were allocated to sending states with seemingly little or no discretionary regard for their standing in the diplomatic hierarchy.

Yet woven into this imposed, prefabricated grid, each used space or place is shaped by many other forces, tensions and debates. This specific building was a state institution enshrining mutual recognition between the GDR and Australia, a settler-colony that itself refused – and continues to refuse – treaty and therefore diplomatic recognition of Aboriginal nations on the continent. Furthermore, as the building played out its role as an embassy to Australia for only eleven years, from 1975 to 1986, its subsequent ownership history typifies the post-Cold War legacy of privatisation and land valorisation in the former East.

The exhibition and text series Ex-Embassy pivots on the rift between the idealistic flatness of an imposed architecture or frame – that is, a modular imaginary with the ambition to expand itself into a universal for all people and all places (‘the frame’ itself here having, since 1989, shifted from state-socialism to a jump-started neoliberal political economy today powered primarily by real estate) – and other, incommensurable formalisms that strategically interact with, project, bypass, resist or are subsumed into this model. Such processes are fundamentally entangled with the question of how specific spaces are shaped, by whom, and for which bodies?

Geographer Doreen Massey defines space as ‘the simultaneity of stories thus far’. Massey argues that while the discourses of modernity assumed ‘one story, led by the ‘advanced’ countries/peoples/cultures . . . the imposition of a single universal’, processes of globalisation project an equally illusory vision of borderless space that is, in fact, pockmarked with and dependent on expulsions, inequalities and violent exclusions. In contrast, Massey posits an understanding of spatiality as something that emerges from interaction on all levels; that is multiple, essentially open and ongoing: that must be, in other words, malleable.

Bearing this in mind, the material state of the building today may be better represented not by the above diagrams, but by (for example) the below schema, which materialised while thinking through Ex-Embassy in its early phase together with the exhibition’s curatorial advisor, Rachel O’Reilly (AU/DE) – and this would simply be a provisional beginning:

In this way, the exhibition and text series Ex-Embassy assumes the form of a non-neutral platform, from which ten invited artists and writers draw attention to often dissonant narratives of place, territory and social conflicts: trajectories that, in some cases, move beyond or explicitly explode ways of reading the site’s parameters. The following offers one possible way to navigate these trajectories:

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Entry to the embassy’s garden is frustrated by an intervention staged by artist Archie Moore (Kamilaroi). A space is replaced with a wall, which is then replaced with the illusion of space. Drawing on the legacy of trompe l’oeil (French: ‘deceives the eye’) painting techniques, Image (2018) raises questions around the role fictions of political freedom, universal access and freedom of movement play in the context of persisting social and physical barriers: from racism and other forms of discrimination, to stigma due to illness or socio-economic inequality. While it is possible to glimpse what is ahead, certain spaces are kept physically out of reach: but importantly, such barriers are imposed by others.

Tracing one example of the phenomenon of spatial division as it plays out, cultural studies researcher Ben Gook’s (AU/DE) essay, Privatising East Germany: Re-unification and the Politics of Real Estate, examines the persistence of the East/West divide in Germany following the largely unacknowledged repercussions of the privatisation of former East German assets, resulting in the emptying-out of the labour market, and echoing, Gook argues, a more general transformation of politics into ‘real estate’.

Projecting beyond a present state of play, the collaborative tennis performance Ex-Pat Cash (2018) asks: what happens to an elite, imported game when it is globalised and commodified? Berlin itself is infiltrated by so-called ‘expats’ who play their mostly unwitting role in upscaling land value in that other game: real estate. Focussing on the dilettante body’s experience when obliged to ‘perform’ in an unfamiliar framework. Ex-Pat Cash is a collaboration between artist Sumugan Sivanesan (AU/DE), artist – and tennis teacher – Carl Gerber (DE), and artist and musician Simone van Dijken (NL). The performance is accompanied by a running self-reflexive conversation between the tennis ‘players’ and Simone van Dijken’s electronic guitar riffs, which frame and exceed the dialogue. Ex-Pat Cash thinks through the tennis match as a game with rules that, historically, have changed over time and will change in the future: but on whose terms?

An essay by legal theorist Sarah Keenan, Space and Subversive Property, thinks through how property might be understood as something that ‘holds up’ belonging, designating what (or who) is ‘in place’ (or not). Keenan argues that property is malleable: deployed differently, it is capable of becoming subversive to normative systems of inclusion and exclusion, tarrying against racialising property logics.

Embassy architectures speak to the calculus, and endurance, of Western models of immaterial law and sovereignty. Rachel O’Reilly’s (AU/DE) essay, On Non-Alignable Materialisms, traces a history of alliances on the frontier that precursor the telling of non-alignable contemporary art histories.

On what basis does ‘recognition’ of a sovereign person occur? Situated in one half of the former embassy’s representative conference room, The Blaktism (2014) draws on the artist’s experience of obtaining her ‘Certificate of Aboriginality’. In the video, a Quandamooka woman undertakes a ceremonial anointing in order to have her status recognised in a ‘white phantasy’ upheld by ever-present cultural authorities in the Australian landscape. Focusing predominantly on the physical marker of skin, the video draws attention to the settler-colonial state’s fixation with what it calls ‘Aboriginality’, an English word and invented legal criterion that calls into being a conveniently ‘authentic’ and commodifiable body.

Also in the conference room, a second work by Archie Moore (Kamilaroi), Text (2018), presents parliamentary records from Australia’s inception in 1901 through to the infamous maiden speech of anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson, emphasising politicians’ repeated rhetorical use of the phrase ‘swamped by…’ (‘…Asians’; ‘…the Aboriginal vote’; ‘…Communists etc.). Such rhetoric draws attention to enduring continuities in racist paranoias by no means restricted to the ‘fifth continent’, but which played a specific role in the Cold War.

The text Ngurang-dhi – from place, a collaboration between poet Raelee Lancaster (Wiradjuri) and writer Nathan Sentance (Wiradjuri), outlines the colonial control of space through the deployment of settler architectures, such as the iconic Sydney Opera House, which strategically displaced a shell midden: a living archive of Aboriginal memory knitted into the land.

In the essay Australia and the GDR: Elective Affinities, historian Peter Monteath (AU) summarises his archival research on the relationship between Australia and the GDR, including on the little-known British anthropologist Fred Rose, who in Australia became a land-rights activist and joined the Communist Party of Australia. Ousted from his public service position by ASIO, he moved to East Berlin, where he taught at Humboldt University and worked as an unofficial informant to the Stasi.

Drawing on nearly a decade of artistic research, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll’s work Embassy Embassy (2009-2018) approaches the former Australian embassy and its architectural ‘twin’, the Iraqi embassy. Her installation includes a slide film and book project in which images found onsite and in Stasi and Canberra national archival material are performatively projected back onto the closed doors of the embassy’s foyer, investigating the relationship between surveillance, intimacy and control. The installation is the setting for and holds collateral of the performance The Gift (2018), (2018), a bilingual play on words: ‘gift’, in German, means ‘poison’. In the performance, playing part-diplomat, part-translator, the artist sifts through, embodies and spatialises archival material, including an interview narrating how an unnamed Iraqi dissident is served what may be poisoned tea and dates in the former Iraqi embassy. During the performance visitors, too, are served tea and dates, blurring the line between the roles of guest and hostage as the performance negotiates former and parafictional extraterritorialities.

Returning to the garden, Sonya Schönberger’s Clean Square (2018) reflects on the forceful re-construction and containment of specific (urban) spaces. The artist removed all weeds and dirt from a designated area. Chosen plants were, however, salvaged and transplanted into ceramic pots made by Beate Bendel, who graduated with Hedwig Bollhagen, the maker of the embassy’s protective ceramic screens. During the exhibition opening, the artist named and identified each plant’s history and healing properties before it was redistributed through a raffle among the public. Clean Square draws attention to the task of caring for inter-generational histories through acts of responsibility, tenacity and care after the moment of expulsion, questioning what belongs where, who decides, and why.

The Socialist Unity Party of Germany was the governing political party of the GDR (German Democratic Republic).
Led by architect Horst Bauer, who also designed Berlin’s iconic Café Moskau.
Tobias Doll, Elisabeth Eulitz, Karla Schäffner. Berlin-Pankow: Sozialistische Botschaftsbauten Städtebauliche Dokumentation – Freiraumplanung – Typenbauten. (Master paper, Heritage Studies, Technische Universität Berlin, 2012-13).
One key architect involved in the urban planning of Marzahn, Wolf-Rüdiger Eisentraut, was in 1996 to renovate the embassy itself when it was transformed, briefly, into a medical laboratory.
A 1970 Neues Deutschland article compared Australia to ‘neo-colonialist’ South Africa, citing its ambitions towards regional dominance, its racist ‘White Australia’ policy and ‘arch-reactionary’ denigration of Aboriginal people. See: Walter Kocher, “Der folgsame Vetter des Uncle Sam”, Neues Deutschland, 12.7.1970, 6.
The site was rented from the GDR by Australia, however operations were prematurely closed down in 1986. Held by the public hand for a time, the site subsequently hosted a kindergarten, the Deutsche Industrie- und Handelsbank AG, and the medical laboratory ‘bioscientia Institut für Laboruntersuchungen Ingelheim GmbH’, before being privatised by the BImA) (Institute for Federal Real Estate) to investor Lars Dittrich. At this point, it hosted the now-insolvent media start-up tape.tv, before being being resold to real estate developer Prexxot GmbH, who sublets it to the artist studio complex Atelierhaus Australische Botschaft Ost. Separate to the Ex-Embassy exhibition, at the time of writing, artists in the studio house are currently attempting to extract the building from the speculative real estate bubble, looking towards collective ownership formats.
Doreen Massey, For Space (London: SAGE Publications, 2005), 70-71.
Romaine Moreton, “Authentic Aborigine, White Phantasy” in Courting Blakness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University, Fiona Foley, Louise Martin-Chew & Fiona Jean Nicoll (eds) (St Lucia:University of Queensland Press, 2015), 174-183.
Die Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands war die regierende politische Partei der DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik).
Geleitet von dem Architekt Horst Bauer, der auch Berlins ikonisches Café Moskau entwarf.
Tobias Doll, Elisabeth Eulitz, Karla Schäffner. Berlin-Pankow: Sozialistische Botschaftsbauten Städtebauliche Dokumentation – Freiraumplanung – Typenbauten. (Masterarbeit im Masterstudium Denkmalpflege der Technischen Universität Berlin, 2012-13).
Wolf-Rüdiger Eisentraut, einer der leitenden Architekten, der z.B. in die Stadtplanung Marzahns involviert war, war 1996 mit der Renovierung der Botschaft beschäftigt, als diese kurzzeitig in ein medizinisches Labor umgestaltet wurde.
Ein Artikel der Zeitlung Neues Deutschland von 1970 vergleicht Australien mit dem ‘neo-kolonialistischen’ Südafrika und bezeichnet dabei Australiens Ambitionen in Bezug auf eine regionale Vorherrschaft als rassistische ‘White Australia’-Politik und rückschrittliche Denunzierung der indigenen Bevölkerung. See: Walter Kocher, “Der folgsame Vetter des Uncle Sam”, Neues Deutschland, 12.7.1970, 6.
Australien pachtete das Grundstück von der DDR, allerdings wurde der Betrieb frühzeitig in 1986 eingestellt. Für einige Zeit öffentlich betrieben, wurde das Gelände kurzeitig von einem Kindergarten genutzt, darauffolgend von der Deutschen Industrie- und Handelsbank und dem medizinischem Labor bioscientia Institut für Laboruntersuchungen Ingelheim GmbH, um anschließend durch die BImA (Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben) privatisiert zu werden. Der Komplex fiel an Investor Lars Dittrich und beherbergte das mittlerweile ins Insolvenz gegangene Media Start-Up tape.tv, wurde dann an die Bauträgerfirma Prexxot GmbH weiterverkauft und ist jetzt das Atelierhaus Australische Botschaft (Ost), eine Ateliergemeinschaft für Künstler, welche momentan den Versuch wagen, das Gebäude dem spekulativen Immobilienmarkt zu entziehen und sich mit Formaten des kollektiven Besitzes beschäftigen.
Doreen Massey, For Space (London: SAGE Publications, 2005), 70-71.
Romaine Moreton, “Authentic Aborigine, White Phantasy” in Courting Blakness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University, Fiona Foley, Louise Martin-Chew & Fiona Jean Nicoll (eds) (St Lucia:University of Queensland Press, 2015), 174-183.
Peter Monteath, ‘The German Democratic Republic and Australia’ in Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 16, No. 2, (2008): 213-235, see also: Boris Schedvin, Emissaries of Trade: A history of the Australian trade commissioner service (Canberra: WHH Publishing, 2008), 279-280.
Paul Daley, “Revealed: how Australian spies filmed Indigenous activists during the cold war” in The Guardian, February 13, 2018: hier.
Peter Monteath & Valerie Munt, Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose, (South Australia: Wakefield Press, 2015), 275
Andrew Wright Hurley, “No Fixed Address, but currently in East Berlin: The Australian bicentennial, Indigenous protest and the Festival of Political Song 1988” in Perfect Beat 15, Iss. 2 (2015): 129-148.
Tobias Krätzer, Botschaften und Konsulaten in Berlin: Eine stadtpolitische Analyse, (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1998), 132.
Peter Monteath, ‘The German Democratic Republic and Australia’ in Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 16, No. 2, (2008): 213-235, siehe auch: Boris Schedvin, Emissaries of Trade: A history of the Australian trade commissioner service (Canberra: WHH Publishing, 2008), 279-280.
Paul Daley, “Revealed: how Australian spies filmed Indigenous activists during the cold war” in The Guardian, 13. Februar, 2018. Artikel online aufrufbar hier.
Peter Monteath & Valerie Munt, Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose, (South Australia: Wakefield Press, 2015), 275
Andrew Wright Hurley, “No Fixed Address, but currently in East Berlin: The Australian bicentennial, Indigenous protest and the Festival of Political Song 1988” in Perfect Beat 15, Iss. 2 (2015): 129-148.
Tobias Krätzer, Botschaften und Konsulaten in Berlin: Eine stadtpolitische Analyse, (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1998), 132.
Romaine Moreton, “Authentic Aborigine, White Phantasy” in Courting Blakness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University, Fiona Foley, Louise Martin-Chew & Fiona Jean Nicoll (eds) (St Lucia:University of Queensland Press, 2015), 174-183.
Frederic Jameson, ‘The Aesthetics of Singularity,’ New Left Review, no. 92 (2015): 130.
This definition of neoliberalism draws on William Davies, The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition (London: Sage, 2014). I have written about this at more length and with full references elsewhere: Ben Gook, ‘Backdating German Neoliberalism: Ordoliberalism, the German Model and Economic Experiments in Eastern Germany after 1989,’ Journal of Sociology 54, no. 1 (2018).
Arbeitsgruppe Alternative Wirtschaftspolitik, Deutsche Zweiheit—Oder: Wie viel Unterschied verträgt die Einheit? Bilanz der Vereinigungspolitik (St Katharinen: PapyRossa, 2010).
www.bild.de/politik/wirtschaft/griechenland-krise/regierung-athen-sparen-verkauft-inseln-pleite-akropolis-11692338.bild.html
Gil Eyal, Iván Szelényi, and Eleanor R. Townsley, Making Capitalism without Capitalists: Class Formation and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe (London: Verso, 1998).
Gareth Dale, The East German Revolution of 1989 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006); First the Transition, Then the Crash: Eastern Europe in the 2000s (London: Pluto Press, 2011).
Der Paritätische Gesamtverband, Menschenwürde ist Menschenrecht: Bericht Zum Armutsentwicklung in Deutschland 2017 (Berlin: Der Paritätische Gesamtverband, 2017).
Brigitte Young, Triumph of the Fatherland: German Unification and the Marginalization of Women (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999).
Jonathan Olsen, ‘The Left Party and the AfD: Populist Competitors in Eastern Germany,’ German Politics and Society 36, no. 1 (2018).
On disenchantment, see Davies. On German’s ongoing division, see Ben Gook, Divided Subjects, Invisible Borders: Re-Unified Germany after 1989 (London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015). On divided Germany’s reckoning with Nazism and the GDR’s founding fantasies, see Julia Hell, Post-Fascist Fantasies: Psychoanalysis, History, and the Literature of East Germany (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).
Morris Cohen and C.B. Macpherson, “Property and Sovereignty,” in Property: Mainstream and Critical Perspectives (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1978).
Kevin Gray, “Property in Thin Air,” in Cambridge Law Journal, 50 (1991), 252–307.
Kevin Gray, The Legal Order of the Queue, 2007.
James E. Penner, The Idea of Property in Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); Cohen and C.B. Macpherson.
Nicholas Blomley, “Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey and the Grid,” in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93 (2003), 121–141.
Cohen and C.B. Macpherson.
Cheryl Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review, 106 (8) (1993), 1721.
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, The White Possessive: Property, Power and Indigenous Sovereignty (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).
Cheryl Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review, 106 (8) (1993)
Davina Cooper, Governing Out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging (London and New York: Rivers Oram Press, 1998).
Emily Grabham, “‘Flagging’ the Skin: Corporeal Nationalism and the Properties of Belonging,” in Body & Society, 15 (2009), 63–82.
Davina Cooper, Governing Out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging (London and New York: Rivers Oram Press, 1998), 629.
Ibid, 636.
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “Imagining the Good Indigenous Citizen,” in Cultural Studies Review, 15 (2), (2009), 61-80.
Here, there is a need to need to point towards — while refusing to appropriate — narratives of Aboriginal resistance to the settler state. A few key dates: In 1972, Aboriginal activists established the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the lawns of Parliament House, the seat of government in Canberra, which carved out a physical, social and political space of belonging in the Australian capital until today, subverting the version of Australia that parliamentarians wish to portray to diplomatic visitors, and in constant struggle with the colonial state. In 1973 the White Australia policy, which had effectively barred non-European immigrants from moving to Australia, was disbanded with a series of legal amendments prohibiting racial discrimination from being formally included in immigration law. In 1976, following a ten-year strike by the Gurindji people, led by Vincent Lingiari, the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) became the first ever Australian law to ‘grant’ land rights to Aboriginal people. The lie of terra nullius remained part of Australian common law until it was overturned in Mabo v The State of Queensland in 1992; a later Labor government reneged on the promise of federal land rights, creating a post-Mabo legislative framework for ‘native title,’ as a weaker and more limited set of rights. See Andrew Schaap, Gary Foley and Edwina Howell, The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State (Routledge 2013).
Doreen Massey, “Power-geometry and a Progressive Sense of Place,” in Tim Putnam, Lisa Tickner, Jon Bird Barry Curtis (Eds.), Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures, Global Change (London: Routledge, 1993).
Sarah Keenan, Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging (London: Routledge, 2015).
Glen Coulthard, Red Skin White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minessota Press, 2014).
Ibid
Matthis Berndt, Britta Grell, Andreas Holm et al, The Berlin Reader, (Berlin: transcript, 2013), 14-15.
Dallas Rogers, The geopolitics of real estate: reconfiguring property, capital and rights (London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).
Sabrina Apicella et al, “In the eye of the storm. Urban Transformations in Berlin: Realities of Crisis and Perspectives for Social Struggles”, in Teaching the Crisis (Group research project, Summer school program, 2013). See also http://teachingthecrisis.net/in-the-eye-of-the-storm-urban-transformations-in-berlin-realities-of-crisis-and-perspectives-for-social-struggles/
Informing this framing is Denise Ferreira da Silva, “The Global Matrix and the Predicament of ‘Postmodernisms’: An Introduction to the Critique of Kulturkampf,” Seton Hall Law Review, 35, Iss. 4 (2006): 1281-1298.
For the story of nuclearity in Africa see Gabrielle Hecht, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade (Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2012).
See Adam Broinowski, ‘Nuclear Power and Oil Capital in the Long Twentieth Century’, in Materialism and the Critique of Energy, eds. Brent Ryan Bellamy and Jeff Diamanti (Chicago: MCM Publishing, 2018), 197-242.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis#Alleged_CIA_involvement
Ibid.
Elizabeth A. Povinelli, The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Durham, N.C.: Duke: University Press, 2002).
The Ex-Embassy exhibition is using here the GDR’s territorial description of the land mass of Australia.
See Michael Pusey, Economic Rationalism in Canberra: A Nation Building State Changes Its Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
John Maynard notes Tom Lacey, Fred Maynard, Sid Ridgeway among Aboriginal men who evidently mixed with the CPA. See his text “‘In the interests of our people’: the influence of Garveyism on the rise of Australian Aboriginal political activism,” Aboriginal History, Vol. 29 (2005), 1-22.
Ibid.
Ibid.
See Gary Foley, ‘Black Power in Redfern 1968-72’, 2001 http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/essays/essay_1.html
Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap, Edwina Howell, The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State (New York: Routledge, 2016).
Ibid.
Generally, the trades and labour councils, waterfront and mining workers unions.
On current analytics of differences see Iyko Day, “Being or Nothingness: Indigeneity, Antiblackness, and Settler Colonial Critique,” Critical Ethnic Studies, 1, Iss. 2, (2018), 102-122.
Of relevance here is the first ACP document laid out in 1931, the “Communist Party’s Fight for Aborigines: Draft Programme of Struggle Against Slavery,” which included a call for the abolition of all forms of ‘forced labour; equal wages; abolition of the Aboriginal Protection Boards . . . capitalism’s slave recruiting agencies and terror organisations; the release of Aboriginal prisoners; the institution of Aboriginal juries for cases involving Aboriginal people; the restoration of Central, Northern and N-W Australia to form independent Aboriginal republics; and the development of Aboriginal culture.’ As Boughton notes, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) would later reproduce the entire policy in a secret 1962 briefing paper, “Communist Party of Australia Policy and Penetration in Australian Aboriginal Activities and Organisations,” which drew ‘particular attention to the demand which called for: The handing over to the aborigines of large tracts of watered and fertile country, with towns, seaports, railways, roads, etc., to become one or more independent aboriginal states or republics. The handing back to the aborigines of all Central, Northern and North West Australia to enable the aborigines to develop their native pursuits. These aboriginal republics to be independent of Australia or other foreign powers. To have the right to make treaties with foreign powers, including Australia, establish their own army, governments, industries, and in every way be independent of imperialism.’ ASIO also noted the important link, theoretically and practically, between the Comintern ‘line’ on the Aboriginal struggle and the anticolonial struggle in New Guinea. In Bob Boughton, “The Communist Party of Australia’s Involvement in the Struggle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Rights, 1920-1970,” in Labour and Community: Historical Essays. R. Markey. (Wollongong: University of Wollongong Press, 2001) 263-294.
Bob Boughton, “The Communist Party of Australia’s Involvement in the Struggle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Rights, 1920-1970,” in Labour and Community: Historical Essays. R. Markey. (Wollongong: University of Wollongong Press, 2001) 263-294.
Ibid.
See Geoffrey Gray, A Cautious Silence: The Politics of Australian Anthropology (Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007).
Denise Ferreira da Silva, Towards a Global Idea of Race (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).
Elizabeth A. Povinelli, The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Durham, N.C.: Duke: University Press, 2002).
Irene Watson, Raw law (Abington: Routledge, 2015).
Robert Cover, “Nomos and Narrative,” Issues in Legal Scholarship, 6, Iss. 1 (Jan 2006).
Bronwyn Lay, Juris Materiarum: Empires of Earth, Soil and Dirt (New York: Atropos Press, 2016).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis
See my collaborative take with Danny Butt on the colonial legacies of artistic autonomy in the neoliberal era of global art here: https://joaap.org/issue10/oriellybutt.htm
Denise Ferreira da Silva, “The Global Matrix and the Predicament of ‘Postmodernisms’: An Introduction to the Critique of Kulturkampf,” Seton Hall Law Review, 35, Iss. 4 (2006): 1281-1298.
Spivak marks universal socialism’s failures in its refusal to deal with requirements for training this aesthetic, inherently comparativist dimension of political imagination. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization. Cambridge (London: Harvard University Press. 2012).
Jelena Vesić, “The Annual Summit of Non-Aligned Art Historians,” in Extending the Dialogue: Essays by Igor Zabel Award Laureates, Grant Recipients, and Jury Members, 2008–2014, (Berlin: Archive Books; Vienna: ERSTE Foundation, 2016).
Ibid.
Bourriaud and Beltings’ very different propositions for (alter)modernity and non-hierarchical global art are addressed in Extending the Dialogue: Essays by Igor Zabel Award Laureates, Grant Recipients, and Jury Members, 2008–2014, (Berlin: Archive Books; Vienna: ERSTE Foundation, 2016).
Among the European philosophers, Michel Serres’ The Natural Contract, trans. Elizabeth MacArthur and William Paulson (Michigan: University of Michigan Press, (1989/1995), articulated the necessity of a wholesale ‘cast off’ of modernist relations of science and (im)material Western law to the non-human world.
Jelena Vesić, “The Annual Summit of Non-Aligned Art Historians,” in Extending the Dialogue: Essays by Igor Zabel Award Laureates, Grant Recipients, and Jury Members, 2008–2014, (Berlin: Archive Books; Vienna: ERSTE Foundation, 2016).
Denise Ferreira da Silva, “The Global Matrix and the Predicament of ‘Postmodernisms’: An Introduction to the Critique of Kulturkampf,” Seton Hall Law Review, 35, Iss. 4 (2006): 1281-1298.