Technologies of Sovereignty 4j - Contesting Excision: The Lazy Jack


Contesting Excision: The Lazy Jack and Sail 4 Justice

Two people sit on a yellow fibreglass boat. Another person stands bent over while fastening a banner to the boat railing. The banner reads 'Indigenous Sovereignty'.

[imagecaption] Sail 4 Justice launch, 2019. Photo: Charandev Singh. [/imagecaption]


‘I didn’t cede my sovereignty, so I don’t know what gives the white Australian Government the right to say who can or can’t come into this country.’  

Lyle Davis, South Coast Yuin man

In 2019, the Sail 4 Justice freedom flotilla was launched with the intention of sailing to Manus Island and delivering 400 Aboriginal passports to Australia’s political prisoners, who have been forcibly held there for the past six years. Following the solidarity expressed by the Tiwi Islanders who declared, ‘We are all non-Australians’ after the excision of Melville Island in 2003, many Indigenous Australians have exercised their sovereignty over the land by extending refuge and hospitality to asylum seekers.

The passage of the Sail 4 Justice flotilla, from Gimuy/Cairns to PNG, defies  the imaginary borders enforced by the Australian state and the authority that the latter seeks to assert through its excision and deterriorialization policies. Instead, it affirms a geography of interconnection and care for the stranger premised on the practice of Indigenous sovereignty (Pugliese ‘Geopolitics of Aboriginal Sovereignty’ 2015 ).


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