Resistance Poetics and Decolonising the Archive

Natalie Harkin

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Natalie Harkin is a Narungga woman, artist and academic who has performed and published her works widely. Her archival-poetics are informed by blood-memory, haunting and grandmother stories. She is a member of the Unbound Collective and the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network; and has worked in the Aboriginal higher education sector in South Australia since the mid-1990s.

Natalie is undertaking a three-year Australian Research Council funded project entitled Resistance Poetics and Decolonising the Archive: Aboriginal Domestic Labour Stories from South Australia. Through this project she is tracing a history of Aboriginal women’s domestic labour and servitude, via oral history and the State’s official record. The project includes working with community to share stories and develop transformative and healing ways to creatively engage with, respond to, and physically transform the colonial archive. Community engagement and research, including around Port Adelaide sites such as Glanville Hall, has been the focus of her Shopfront residency with Vitalstatistix in 2019.

In 2020 and 2021, Vitalstatistix will continue to support this significant project – through a residency in 2020 and a commitment to present the final outcomes of the project in 2021 in partnership with the Flinders University Art Museum.

Creative team: Natalie Harkin and collaborators

Image courtesy of the artist