Facts on the Ground (2017)

As part of a residency at Watch This Space ARI, Mparntwe/  Alice Springs, NT.

 

Facts on the Ground was a site-specific reading and discussion group that took place in five historically and culturally significant and contested locations in Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

 

The texts chosen address colonial ideologies of land use, their legacies in the racialisation of Australian urban space and how the political claims of subordinated groups can make space public to challenge these legacies.

 

Members of the public were invited to read and discuss their surrounds in light of the issues brought up in the texts. Together we asked:

 

How do acts of colonial incursion and settler occupation continue into the present and manifest in Alice Springs through public space amendments, popular anxiety around behaviours and uses of space, and the recurrent trope of a town in decline and the politics of regeneration? Which ways of ‘being public’ are privileged as ‘normal’, and which are problematised as improper, wasteful, idle, dangerous?