Indigenous New Media Arts through CANZUS transnationalism: Thea Pitman, ‘Indigenous New Media Arts: Narrative Threads and Future Imaginaries’, Transmotion, 5, 1, 2019, pp. 180-202


Excerpt: It is my contention that Indigenous new media arts have particularly flourished across the parts of the “Anglo-world” that are the result of the early waves of British settler colonialism, most notably in countries such as Canada, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the United States (including Hawai’i). There are a number of reasons why Indigenous new media art initiatives have really been able to thrive across this particular geopolitical framework. Firstly, there is the nature of settler colonialism itself and the type of transnational dynamics it leaves us with. In distinguishing between colonialist and settler colonialist frameworks, critics have noted that while the former privileges a centre-periphery dynamic, settler colonialism is “inherently transnational” and requires a “‘networked’ frame of analysis” to capture the movements and exchanges between colonies. Nonetheless, although the phenomenon of setter colonialism has the capacity to bypass the original metropole, it still depends on that metropole for the provision shared cultural values and a lingua franca through which cultural sharing may take place. Thus, from the outset, there is a network of settler communities with lots in common and a shared language in which to explore similarities and differences. Furthermore, while the original circuitry of settler colonial “worlds” is based on the movement and exchanges between settlers rather than the Indigenous peoples the settlers sought to displace, assimilate or eliminate, the same overarching networks and linguas francas have also been strategically appropriated by Indigenous peoples to provide the framework for the growth of a pan-Indigenous movement that has blossomed over the last forty years. 

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