Colonizing bricks and mortar: Indigenous place-making through art objects and artifacts

Lorraine Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores how Aboriginal people born in the rural areas and country towns of New South Wales have come to live in and engage with ‘the city’ and consider their place in it. Drawing on my ethnographic work with western NSW Aboriginal people, I discuss how their engagement with museum space and collections, with the visual arts, and with place and kin work to occupy and shape the settler colonial landscape, cultural identities, and practice. The article questions interpretations of what constitutes a museum, the relationship of artists to museums, the possibility of multicultural museums unhinged from imperial power structures and their practices and policies of knowing and owning. Jane Jacobs's notion of the ‘constant interplay between positioned and variable metropolitan histories and other histories and the complex intermeshing of the global and local’ is brought into ethnographic focus here, as are ‘postcolonial counterflows and the unanticipated trajectories of identity and power’ which are attendant with the idea of a ‘negotiable politics of difference’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-219
Number of pages17
JournalPostcolonial Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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