Indigenous Women: Activism and the Arts


L-R: Hannah McGlade, Alison Whittaker, Aunty Mingli McGlade, Nita Jane, Michelle White, Irma Woods.

Aboriginal women’s continued activism against colonialism is multifaceted, and the arts, poetry, theatre, music and dance have been critical to their resistance and voice.

During this event, ‘Indigenous Women: Activism and the Arts’, WA Aboriginal women artists, including Nita Jane, Michelle White, Irma Woods and Hannah McGlade, discussed their work with with visiting Gommeroi poet and scholar Alison Whittaker, award winning poet and author of BLAKWORK (Magabala Books).  Each speaker discussed how the stories that they share through the arts constitutes a form of activism.

Alison Whittaker read two poems.  The first, ‘A love like Dorothea’s’,  spoke back to Dorothea Mackellar’s canonical poem ‘My Country’ in the context of the current environmental crisis in Gunnedah and its surrounds. The second, ‘Close the Inquest‘, reflected on the inquest into the death in custody of Ms Maher.

Considerations of the resistance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through the arts in particular, has been critical to the development of Deathscapes’ forthcoming case study, ‘Indigenous Femicide and the Killing State‘ which documents the killings of Indigenous women outside the formal custody of the state as an outcome of the logic of settler colonialism.

This event was broadcast live by Noongar Radio 100.9FM. The panel discussion was inter-dispersed with Indigenous women’s music.

We acknowledge that this event took place on the unceded land of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

This event was hosted by the Australian Hub of the Deathscapes team: Michelle Bui, Hannah McGlade, Suvendrini Perera, Joseph Pugliese, Ayman Qwaider.


Please Read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.