The songline is alive in Mukurtu
Kimberly Christen (Washington State University)
Paper short abstract:
This presentation explores the circulation and curation of returned archival materials through relational pathways in which cultural materials are returned, reinvented, reused, and reimagined in kin and place-based networks through digital platforms and a decolonial framework of ethical engagement.
Paper long abstract:
Exploring the creation, circulation, and curation of returned archival materials, this presentation engages with the multiple sets of grounded and relational pathways through which cultural materials are not just returned, but through the process are reinvented, reused, and reimagined in kin-based and place-based networks through digital platforms and a decolonial framework of ethical engagement. Building on the literature around digital return and the repatriation of colonial collections from museums, archives, and libraries and the related work on sovereignty, self-determination, and Indigenous governance, I posit a framework for understanding the politics of information sharing from the intersection of Indigenous systems of knowledge stewardship and territorial connections to homelands. Native legal scholar Angela Riley demonstrates how legal and social systems have normalized the taking of Indigenous peoples' lands, bodies, and sacred materials for the use of others and in doing so have legitimated cultural appropriation writ large. This taking was rationalized and mobilized through archival practices and processes. And so, it is only with these practices of taking in clear view that we can build a theory of archival return that offers instead a decolonial framework of ethical engagement and examine the use of digital platforms and tools as one part of practices of return.
Collaborative curation: towards a slow archives movement