Deathscapes

Inspirations

Deathscapes

Solidarities, Resistances, Inspirations


Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Uncle Ray Jackson

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Ruby Langford Ginibi

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Putting European law up on public trial: Auntie Helen Ulli Corbett

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Not y/our place

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

The Military-Industrial-Prison-Security-Border Complex

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Black Lives Matter in Australia

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Far from home

Read
Case Study Background
Click here to view information

Memorial Event to Celebrate Ray Jackson

Read

 

‘The greater majority of deaths in custody always have pertinent and possibly criminal underlying causes brought about by a complete lack of duty of care. I and others will always argue that custodial deaths are as far removed from natural causes as is the death penalty.’

Uncle Ray Jackson

‘Mark Holcroft Inquest,’ 18 August 2011, email communication.

Image: Uncle Ray Jackson, President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association and recipient of the prix des droits de l’homme de la Republique Francaise 2013. Photo: Joseph Pugliese.

‘Why is it that our people are still dying today in police custody? The great white legal system hasn’t worked out what to do about this terrible situation, but it all points to the bad treatment of our people when they are incarcerated in prisons. Black people have always been on the other end of the policeman’s boot…THE KILLING TIMES ARE STILL WITH US.’

Ruby Langford Ginibi

My Bundjalung People (University of Queensland Press 1994, 44).

Image: “Ruby Langford Ginibis protest on 26th January 1988 at Mrs MacQuaries Chair in the Domain, the Bicentennial Year 1988.”  Photo: Lisa Bellear.

‘The history of the national campaign demanding a Federal Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody was coordinated by Aboriginal/Islander families who had a relative die in prison or police custody or their supporters. They are a living testimony of what united strength is all about. The Royal Commission is one of the most recent and greatest achievements of our people. We have turned the tables! Both internationally and nationally we are putting European law up on public trial. It is now forced into explaining why our justice system allows so many of our people to die in their prisons and lock ups.’

Helen Ulli Corbett

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia [ALSWA] Annual Report, 1987-1988, quoted in Fiona Skyring, Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Crawley: UWA Publishing 2011, 281).

Aunty Helen Ulli Corbett was the Chairperson of the National Committee to Defend Black Rights (NCDBR). In 1992 she presented a position paper, prepared by the NCDBR, entitled ‘Miscarriages of Justice in Australia: Aboriginal Girls and Women‘ at International conferences and forums.

Image: The West Australian. Photo: Alex Bainbridge.

Auntie Helen Ulli Corbett’s foundational role in the campaign to end Black deaths in custody and in the international human rights movement for Indigenous Peoples was recognised by the award of an Honorary Doctorate by Curtin University on February 6, 2019.  Photos: Shaphan Cox.

Listen to Marisa Sposaro interview Auntie Helen on The Doin Time Show in June 2020.

 

‘I realise, of course, that other Aborigines may have different views to mine and, of course, that is their right. But I will state most strongly in their defence that these refugees did not invade us, they did not steal our lands, they did not suppress our culture and language, they did not commit genocide, they did not steal our children, they did not steal our wages, they did not steal our human rights as a first people to exist and to grow. The parliaments of the invaders have done all that and more.

Again, I say to the asylum seekers, you are welcome to our lands.’

Uncle Ray Jackson

Image: Original Nations passport juxtaposed with the colonial papers that denied Aboriginal people free movement across their own lands. Artwork: Sydney Crossborders Collective, with special thanks to Shane Reside.

‘On behalf of the United States and its society, an elite sector of the United States is allowed to kill and torture with impunity—while expecting gratitude for the safety it “ensures.” A quick survey reveals death sentences meted out by state courts, federal courts, and military courts, and internationally by military drones that target both U.S. citizens and non-citizens. The extra-judicial killings by bureaucratic appendages of the state include police shootings, jail cell deaths, and deputized whiteness despatching black teens. Physical deaths or killings coexist with devastating “penalties”…for deviance, mundane drug offenses, property theft, and tragic assaults. Finally, there are the punishments against rebellions.’

Joy James

‘Life and Other Responsibilities’ in Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration Ed. Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther and Scott Zeman (Fordham University Press 2015, vii).

Image:  #NotABugSplat

The 2017 Sydney Peace Prize was awarded to Black Lives Matter on 2 November 2017 at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia. Receiving the prize on behalf of this organisation, described as championing a ‘movement for freedom, justice and dignity for all Black lives’, were the U.S. co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, and her Canadian counterpart, Rodney Diverlus.

""
Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus. Photo: ABC News/Jack Fisher.

‘Black Lives Matter is in Australia to accept the Sydney Peace Prize, and meet with black Australians. During our trip, the thing that stands out to us most is that Indigenous Australians are facing some of the most horrendous living conditions in the world, sadly similar conditions to those in the US and Canada. Black Lives Matter is pertinent here in Australia and as we are having conversations with people, we are realising that.

We have heard about the high incarceration rate of Indigenous people and Torres Strait Islanders. We have heard about the impact that colonialism has had on the family unit and how this has contributed to family violence. We’ve heard about the deaths in custody, and the families who have lost their children held in custody. Many of these family members are calling these murders, because when they are finally able to see their children, they are bruised and battered, with broken bones.’

 

‘When we started Black Lives Matter, we understood that this movement wasn’t just for the United States but one that would centre black communities around the globe. We don’t see this as a civil rights movement, we don’t see this as relegated to the United States but as a human rights movement which allows us to have a broader conversation about anti-black racism across the globe.

So we have travelled to the UK, through the Americas, to Palestine and now to Australia. Throughout our travels we have seen that black people and Indigenous people are suffering, and, despite that suffering, local governments aren’t standing up for us. Wherever black people are, there is racism and the impacts of racism. Yet wherever black people are, there is resistance. We are still resisting and we are still calling for new ways of relating to us, we’re still calling for care and for dignity.’

Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus

Black Lives Matter in Australia: Wherever Black People are, There is Racism—and Resistance

Also see: Abbie O’Brien

Black Lives Matter founders meet Australia’s Indigenous community

Listen to an audio interview here

and here

The moon shines brightly in a dark sky. A tree protrudes from the bottom of the frame.

‘Far from home‘ is a song sung in a traditional Kurdish style about being far from home and surrounded by no one. It is a haunting tribute to the endurance of the human spirit whilst being detained on Manus Island.

It was made via mobile phone and internet between Manus Island and Narrm, Melbourne in 2018.

By: Farhad Bandesh (vocals, field recordings, concept) and Anna Liebzeit (music, production, mixing, vocals)

You can support Farhad by purchasing the song via: https://farhadbandesh.bandcamp.com/releases

Memorial Event to Celebrate Ray Jackson

Poster with an photo of Uncle Ray Jackson. Main text reads 'Celebrate People's History. A memorial event to celebrate Ray Jackson. Indigenous Social Justice Association. Laureate of the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic 2013. 1pm Saturday April 21 Redfern Community Centre'.

On 21 April 2018, a memorial event to celebrate Uncle Ray Jackson’s extraordinary social justice work and legacy was held at the Redfern Community Centre. The late Uncle Ray was President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Laureate of the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2013) and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (2016) from Macquarie University. Uncle Ray was first and foremost an indefatigable fighter for social justice across multiple fronts, including for those in prison, for the victims and families of Indigenous deaths in custody, for the victims of police violence, and for refugees and asylum seekers incarcerated in Australia’s domestic and offshore immigration detention centres.

The event opened with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony and it included speeches by his daughters, Carolyne and Francine Jackson, and his granddaughter, Madika. The memorial event brought together a wide cross-section of speakers including Indigenous Elders, Indigenous families of death-in-custody victims, community activists, lawyers, forensic pathologists, prison abolitionists, feminists, academics, students, queer activists, human rights advocates, families, media representatives, trade unionists, and many others from all walks of life. It is a tribute to the all-encompassing reach of Uncle Ray’s social justice vision that such a diversity of speakers came to the event.

The event also included an exhibition of Uncle Ray’s posters and T-shirts which, collectively, evidenced the social and political history of his social justice activism and work. The memorable event concluded with the unveiling of a commemorative poster celebrating ‘a people’s history of Ray Jackson.’

Dgadi-Dugarang: Talk Loud, Talk StrongA Tribute to Aboriginal leader Uncle Ray Jackson,1941-2015. To read the full memorial essay: https://espace.curtin.edu.au/handle/20.500.11937/44833

Ray Jackson special: An interview with Joseph Pugliese and Carolyn Jackson, the daughter of Ray. A special memorial show about Ray Jackson, First Nations warrior, advocate to end aboriginal deaths in custody and the co-founder of Indigenious Social Justice Association(link is external) Sydney, awarded a human rights medal from France. http://www.3cr.org.au/dointime/episode-201804231600/ray-jackson-special

Sharing

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.

Proceed