Gathering of the Clouds: attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals

Bawaka Country, S. Wright, S. Suchet-Pearson, K. Lloyd, L. Burarrwanga, R. Ganambarr, M. Ganambarr-Stubbs, B. Ganambarr, D. Maymuru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

New engagements between humans and with the environment are vitally necessary in this perilous period of intensified environmental change. Climate change policy interventions and public discourses persistently frame climate as outside human experience, something to be controlled and understood within a strict, linear, universalist and ultimately colonising understanding of time. Yet constructions that suggest that humans are separate from, act upon or may manage or control a passive environment may be offensive to a sentient world, while relegation of the past to ‘the past’ ignores the many enduring violences of colonialism and multiple sustained efforts to nurture multi-temporal relationships of belonging and care. In this paper, our more-than-human Indigenous and non-Indigenous research collective share understandings of time led by the Yolŋu songspiral, Wukun or Gathering of the Clouds, from northern Australia. Wukun challenges many orders and disciplines of colonial structures, including those associated with time and climate change. In place of an abstract, distant and unbound climate, locked into a linear, passive timescape, Wukun suggests time as multiple, agential, and a manifestation of co-becoming. Rather than being responsible to or responsible for climate as something passive and separate from humans, Wukun signals a need to cultivate abilities to attend deeply to place's agency and act through co-becoming. In this way, we may understand and respond to climate change as relational and patterned, embodied and affective, and co-constituted through more-than-human placed and multi-temporal relationships.

LanguageEnglish
Pages295-304
Number of pages10
JournalGeoforum
Volume108
Early online date20 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

climate
climate change
collective research
colonial age
violence
time
discourse
ability
experience

Keywords

  • Aboriginal songlines
  • Climate change
  • Indigenous geographies
  • Time and temporality
  • Weather

Cite this

Bawaka Country ; Wright, S. ; Suchet-Pearson, S. ; Lloyd, K. ; Burarrwanga, L. ; Ganambarr, R. ; Ganambarr-Stubbs, M. ; Ganambarr, B. ; Maymuru, D. / Gathering of the Clouds : attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals. In: Geoforum. 2020 ; Vol. 108. pp. 295-304.
@article{fa3c701695b24fb9a2542af0e66e834a,
title = "Gathering of the Clouds: attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals",
abstract = "New engagements between humans and with the environment are vitally necessary in this perilous period of intensified environmental change. Climate change policy interventions and public discourses persistently frame climate as outside human experience, something to be controlled and understood within a strict, linear, universalist and ultimately colonising understanding of time. Yet constructions that suggest that humans are separate from, act upon or may manage or control a passive environment may be offensive to a sentient world, while relegation of the past to ‘the past’ ignores the many enduring violences of colonialism and multiple sustained efforts to nurture multi-temporal relationships of belonging and care. In this paper, our more-than-human Indigenous and non-Indigenous research collective share understandings of time led by the Yolŋu songspiral, Wukun or Gathering of the Clouds, from northern Australia. Wukun challenges many orders and disciplines of colonial structures, including those associated with time and climate change. In place of an abstract, distant and unbound climate, locked into a linear, passive timescape, Wukun suggests time as multiple, agential, and a manifestation of co-becoming. Rather than being responsible to or responsible for climate as something passive and separate from humans, Wukun signals a need to cultivate abilities to attend deeply to place's agency and act through co-becoming. In this way, we may understand and respond to climate change as relational and patterned, embodied and affective, and co-constituted through more-than-human placed and multi-temporal relationships.",
keywords = "Aboriginal songlines, Climate change, Indigenous geographies, Time and temporality, Weather",
author = "{Bawaka Country} and S. Wright and S. Suchet-Pearson and K. Lloyd and L. Burarrwanga and R. Ganambarr and M. Ganambarr-Stubbs and B. Ganambarr and D. Maymuru",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.017",
language = "English",
volume = "108",
pages = "295--304",
journal = "Geoforum",
issn = "0016-7185",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Bawaka Country, Wright, S, Suchet-Pearson, S, Lloyd, K, Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr, B & Maymuru, D 2020, 'Gathering of the Clouds: attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals', Geoforum, vol. 108, pp. 295-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.017

Gathering of the Clouds : attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals. / Bawaka Country; Wright, S.; Suchet-Pearson, S.; Lloyd, K.; Burarrwanga, L.; Ganambarr, R.; Ganambarr-Stubbs, M.; Ganambarr, B.; Maymuru, D.

In: Geoforum, Vol. 108, 01.2020, p. 295-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gathering of the Clouds

T2 - Geoforum

AU - Bawaka Country

AU - Wright, S.

AU - Suchet-Pearson, S.

AU - Lloyd, K.

AU - Burarrwanga, L.

AU - Ganambarr, R.

AU - Ganambarr-Stubbs, M.

AU - Ganambarr, B.

AU - Maymuru, D.

PY - 2020/1

Y1 - 2020/1

N2 - New engagements between humans and with the environment are vitally necessary in this perilous period of intensified environmental change. Climate change policy interventions and public discourses persistently frame climate as outside human experience, something to be controlled and understood within a strict, linear, universalist and ultimately colonising understanding of time. Yet constructions that suggest that humans are separate from, act upon or may manage or control a passive environment may be offensive to a sentient world, while relegation of the past to ‘the past’ ignores the many enduring violences of colonialism and multiple sustained efforts to nurture multi-temporal relationships of belonging and care. In this paper, our more-than-human Indigenous and non-Indigenous research collective share understandings of time led by the Yolŋu songspiral, Wukun or Gathering of the Clouds, from northern Australia. Wukun challenges many orders and disciplines of colonial structures, including those associated with time and climate change. In place of an abstract, distant and unbound climate, locked into a linear, passive timescape, Wukun suggests time as multiple, agential, and a manifestation of co-becoming. Rather than being responsible to or responsible for climate as something passive and separate from humans, Wukun signals a need to cultivate abilities to attend deeply to place's agency and act through co-becoming. In this way, we may understand and respond to climate change as relational and patterned, embodied and affective, and co-constituted through more-than-human placed and multi-temporal relationships.

AB - New engagements between humans and with the environment are vitally necessary in this perilous period of intensified environmental change. Climate change policy interventions and public discourses persistently frame climate as outside human experience, something to be controlled and understood within a strict, linear, universalist and ultimately colonising understanding of time. Yet constructions that suggest that humans are separate from, act upon or may manage or control a passive environment may be offensive to a sentient world, while relegation of the past to ‘the past’ ignores the many enduring violences of colonialism and multiple sustained efforts to nurture multi-temporal relationships of belonging and care. In this paper, our more-than-human Indigenous and non-Indigenous research collective share understandings of time led by the Yolŋu songspiral, Wukun or Gathering of the Clouds, from northern Australia. Wukun challenges many orders and disciplines of colonial structures, including those associated with time and climate change. In place of an abstract, distant and unbound climate, locked into a linear, passive timescape, Wukun suggests time as multiple, agential, and a manifestation of co-becoming. Rather than being responsible to or responsible for climate as something passive and separate from humans, Wukun signals a need to cultivate abilities to attend deeply to place's agency and act through co-becoming. In this way, we may understand and respond to climate change as relational and patterned, embodied and affective, and co-constituted through more-than-human placed and multi-temporal relationships.

KW - Aboriginal songlines

KW - Climate change

KW - Indigenous geographies

KW - Time and temporality

KW - Weather

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067366426&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.017

DO - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.05.017

M3 - Article

VL - 108

SP - 295

EP - 304

JO - Geoforum

JF - Geoforum

SN - 0016-7185

ER -