Gravitating towards the act

I’m at a point in which I am questioning more deeply what it is I want to do in terms of my work. Still (and by necessity) feeling uncomfortable about wanting to work with Indigenous research participants/co-researcher. I am very conscious about the ethics of working with Indigenous people and engaging with their knowledge and beliefs… fears of unwittingly  appropriating ideas and perpetuating colonial practices. I want to find a way of collaborating with Indigenous people that comes from a place of shared possibility, respect and deep listening, where IP is maintained. I want to help conceive a narrative that is shared, that speaks about collective generative practices on being with country. 

The more I read about the ‘space between’ Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems I realise that this concept may not be the space I need to be working within. As much as I initially resisted engaging with Addelson’s ideas on Collectivist Moral Theory, I am now gravitating toward her question of ‘how do we live?’ What are we or can we be co-creating that isn’t necessarily ‘a place that lies between’? I know that M would tell me to focus on the act itself, not the time and space that presuppose the acts themselves. When I put myself in this concept now I feel like I am on the crest of a wave about to break. I can feel the power of the wave and sense the possibilities of where the wave could take me – down the face, dive under, bomb out. But the essential thing is that there is momentum, something is happening and transformation is inevitable.  

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One response to “Gravitating towards the act

  1. From Anthea:I was rereading this blog entry and it occurred to me that there's a chapter in my thesis which might help at this point. In the section where I ask, what accounts for sustainability, I think the answers also apply to the question, how do we share space together, well. This may seem like a slightly different question from those which more readily come to mind around the idea of being with. But I think it may prove to be very relevant and give you a practical way forward. One of the ANT writers suggested that if we look at things that are sustainable, we will see that this sustainability is to do with the architecture of the situation, where architecture includes the discourses (the stories we tell each other about this situation) as well as the strategic and material arrangements. Being with always involves all of these elements. We tell each other stories, we share things, we are in strategic relationships with all of the actors involved. And in my thesis I went one step further and asked, in relation to situations in a Yolngu-Balanda world, Whose stories (are holding this situation in place)? Whose strategies? Who owns the material things in this setting? I came to the conclusion that unless there was real sharing on all of these matters, then what was happening was not sustainable. You may well find, that when you look at experiences of being with, that again, these things all have to be in balance.The relevant chapters in my thesis are Chapters 6&7, and a precis of the terrific article by John Law, that they are based on.

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