I See Red: Truth-Telling about Colonial Courthouses and Indigenous Dispossession Through Art

Ben Wardle, Lee Harrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines how art can be used in the process of truth telling about the role colonial courthouses played in the violent dispossession, exploitation and oppression of Indigenous peoples. The paper focuses on the Old Court House in Perth, Australia, as this was the site of a commission winning public art work selected by the City of Perth that was decommissioned after permission to install the work was denied by the sitting judges of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. It is argued that art can be a means to draw attention to the methods used by the colonial legal system to usurp Indigenous sovereignty, that art on courthouses can be used to signify ongoing resistance to colonisation, and that this should be embraced by the legal community rather than be censored by the judiciary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalLaw, Culture and the Humanities
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

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