The following are my top three blog posts that I’ve have written this year for the Archival Decolonist.
1) The Paternalistic Nature of Collecting
My blog post about the misconception that galleries, libraries, archives and museums are preserving First Nation cultural heritage.
This was the post that started it all. I wrote it to articulate my frustration with white saviour-hood in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) that would see itself as rescuing and saving First Nations culture, but would avoid discussions of their involvement in cultural destruction and denigration, colonisation and invasion. This self perception now currently informs well intentioned, but paternalistic thinking and actions in GLAM institutions that can hinder, not recognise and block First Nations agency in our maintaining, telling, and preserving our culture and history.
2) Maker unknown and the decentring First Nations People.
My blog post about the need to centre First Nations Voices in GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) collections.
This post was in response to a First Nations cultural heritage object I saw on display at a museum where the label did not mention anything about the community where the culture was from or knowledge attached to this cultural heritage object, only information about the Non-Indigenous man who collected it. It just seemed so sad to me that we are not the focus of our own culture or history and that we continue the romanticised idea of European adventurer or scientist “discovering” First Nations culture. This label was just a continuation of the renaming and retelling of our culture and history that has distorted information and has allowed non-Indigenous people to claim ownership of First Nations knowledge. It is also sad because while this man on the label may be remembered for centuries, the First Nations person who created this cultural heritage object based on their ancestral knowledge, will be nameless in our records.
3) Diverse Voices in Diversity
My blog post about the construction of memory and need for more in depth diversity in GLAM collections.
I wrote this post to get people to consider the diversity within First Nations communities and that we not a monolithic entity and that GLAM collections, discourses and history should reflect that.
Note: I do not claim expertise, these posts are just my perspective as a Wiradjuri man working GLAM. I write them as method to start discussions.
Mandaang guwu (thank you) to all the people who read my blog this year. Y’all are deadly