Radical dreaming: Indigenous art and cultural diplomacy

Butler, Sally and Bleiker, Roland (2016) Radical dreaming: Indigenous art and cultural diplomacy. International Political Sociology, 10 1: 56-74. doi:10.1093/ips/olv004

Author Butler, Sally
Bleiker, Roland
Title Radical dreaming: Indigenous art and cultural diplomacy
Journal name International Political Sociology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1749-5679
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/ips/olv004
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 56
End page 74
Total pages 19
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We examine links between art and foreign policy through two important instances of cultural diplomacy in Australia’s history. Each time—in 1941–1942 and in 2009—the government staged an extensive exhibition in the United States. Each time, the exhibition displayed Indigenous art with the explicit purpose of increasing Australia’s political legitimacy and influence. But in each case, the artworks in question resisted and subverted this form of diplomatic instrumentalization. Art managed to insert and communicate political claims that highlighted—against governmental intentions and policies at the time—the suppression of Indigenous rights and demands for sovereignty. In doing so, art challenged not only legal and political norms but also an entire verbal and visual narrative of nation building that emerged out of colonialism. Art thus became political in the most fundamental way, for it directly interfered with what Jacques Rancière called the distribution of the sensible: the boundaries of what is visible and invisible, is thinkable and unthinkable, and thus, can and cannot be debated in politics.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Communication and Arts Publications
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2015, 22:42:13 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts