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Sydney, Unsettled 

Research, Publishing

This project investigates the engagement infrastructure of Indigenous urbanism in Sydney, Australia through an immersive montage of sites and stories in the city. As “infrastructure,” engagement is constructed through the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people conceive and perceive urban spaces in unsettling the colonial authority of the city. It emerges as alternative meeting spaces for community consultation, debate, and action in the making and unmaking of urban spaces. It manifests as community-led protests against the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Aboriginal people under the push for Sydney’s global city agenda. It takes the form of public art appropriating architectural forms to provoke new urban logics. It unfolds spatially as narratives through memorial sites, gardens, and heritage trails, and transmits sonically as urban stories through radio and podcasting. It is through these urban mediations that the space of settler-colonial Sydney is continually performed, interrogated, and redefined. As Australia’s global city continues to account for a growing number of both Aboriginal people and international migrants, the voices and actions of diverse actors become increasingly significant in shaping the urban landscape. How has Sydney’s collectively constructed engagement infrastructure facilitated, silenced, or negated meaningful Indigenous participation in the design and planning of the city? How has Indigenous demands for recognition, tenure, and sovereignty over urban territory intersected with Western frameworks of urban planning? The sites and stories that follow are not meant to be precedent studies; rather, they are critically considered in their multidimensional and contradictory natures against the urban morphology

Supported by the KPF Paul Katz Traveling Fellowship