Kerr, T. (2017). Roe 8: politics and power in defence of place. The Architect, Spring/Summer 2017, pp. 28-31.
This co-authored article in The Conversation is about the newly elected Western Australia premier, Mark McGowan, appointing the state’s first minister for Asian engagement, Bill Johnston. The appointment shows that McGowan’s administration understands how deeply embedded the state’s interests are in the Asian neighbourhood.
Kalla yarning at Matagarup was appeared in the 'On the Borders of Belonging' issue (21) of Coolabah, published by the Centre d’Estudis Australians at Universitat de Barcelona.
The article aims to further understandings of popular television news reporting on Aboriginal solidarity gatherings at Matagarup on Heirisson Island, a state-registered Aboriginal Heritage Site in Perth, Western Australia. In doing so, it also seeks to identify the practical limits of heritage making in disrupting the legitimization of state action not recognizing such heritage claims. In 2012 and 2015, Aboriginal citizens gathering and camping at the heritage site were subject to police raids legitimized by popular media organizations reporting a breach of municipal bylaws prohibiting camping and fires on Heirisson Island. This paper examines a shift in popular television reporting over the three years towards acknowledging that Aboriginal people should be able to assemble, without police harassment, around a fire at the site. The most radical shift in reporting is observable in Nine News coverage of events. For this reason, eight televised items from Nine News in 2015 are analysed alongside Nine News reporting described in the authors’ previous study of reporting of events at Matagarup in 2012. The paper identifies and discusses the implications of two key dialogical processes in the news production: Firstly, a process of cross-cultural reading and shared understandings of fire as hearth, and secondly a process of reproducing a dominant discursive tradition locating home for Aboriginal people outside the city.
This article in The Journal of Historical Geography was written over a couple of years in collaboration with Dr Shaphan Cox, Dr Christina Birdsall-Jones, Professor Roy Jones and Professor Steve Mickler. The article examines the concept of occupations in relation to gatherings of Noongar people in 1988-1989 and in 2012 at high-profile riverside sites near the centre of Perth, Western Australia.
This article in the Thesis Eleven journal of critical theory and historical sociology was written in collaboration with Dr Susan Leong and Dr Shaphan Cox. The article focuses on urban space and heritage. Our aim was to understand how ordinary streets in Perth respond to urban change and how much these urban streets represent Western Australia’s heritage. The intention is to eschew the dominant branding of WA as Australia’s mining state and shift the spotlight so that in addition to the economic and material, light is also shed on the socio-cultural in the everyday and the vernacular. This project uses Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis approach to explore a contrapuntal reading of heritage that disrupts the deserving, dominant and fixed histories of High Road in Willetton and High Street in Fremantle. Amid the tides of migration, commerce, and cultures, heritage facades on High Street Fremantle appear singular and fixed, whereas multiple cultures have been extracted for sale on High Road. Superficially High Road seems diverse but the overarching impulse across both sites is commerce—‘Business as usual’ reigns.
This is not my paper, but AAPI's January-March 2016 Research Review provides an excellent overview of what my colleagues and I have been up to lately, including the ultimate form of public engagement with me being pre-selected by the Greens to contest the 2016 federal election. While waiting for the review to download, check out its front-page image of the AAPI contingent at the 'Go Between, In Between: Borders of Belonging' conference at the University of Barcelona.
This paper, published in Somatechnics by University of Edinburgh Press, addresses the prevalence of state violence directed at Aboriginal people. It examines how violence has been reproduced in recent years in the space of Western Australia through mutually-reinforcing relations of financial interest, and how the function of private capital accumulation – in state violence against sovereign Aboriginal people – has remained hidden in white sight. This paper argues that state violence is legitimised through a discourse of Aboriginal protection. After outlining how this discourse and violence have operated in Western Australia, the paper provides a substantive narrative challenging the routine reproduction of state violence against Aboriginal bodies through a close reading of public and media texts. These texts relate to state violence against a blockade preventing land-clearing machines from entering Aboriginal country in mid 2011; state violence against the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in early 2012; and, the government's announcement in May 2011 that it would amend the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Through this analysis, lines are drawn between media, machines and might for the purpose of enabling white sight to see private capital accumulation functioning within the reproduction of state violence against Aboriginal people.