A very clear picture (2021-22)
These hastily scribbled notes were produced as Sam Walsh AO, former CEO of Rio Tinto, narrated aloud, over 2hr41m without pause. He read the project summaries of 967 Section 18 applications that sought permission to “destroy, damage or alter an Aboriginal site” via the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act between 2010-20. Since the legislation came into effect in 1972, over 3300 applications have been processed. Only three have ever been declined. Under the guise of protecting Aboriginal heritage this legislation provides a pathway for its destruction.
While Sam read, I wrote. Trying to capture a word or phrase from each of the 967 project summaries he read. These notes, and the video Sam’s narration accompanies, paint a very clear picture of colonisation—how everything from large scale mines to seemingly innocuous things like footpaths, jetties and housing estates play a part in this violent nexus of industry, government and settler-life. It is a specific kind of violence, birthed through bureaucratic processes that appear clean on paper, but wreak havoc in the world.
3 x A4 pages
Edition of 967 photocopied sets / $9.67 per set
This work was produced as part of a residency with the Kimberley Land Council via SPACED's Rural Utopias program. Read about the process here.