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Decolonisation Forum: From Australia to Israel-Palestine.

  • Drill Hall 26 Therry Street Melbourne, 3000 Australia (map)

This forum will address the topic of decolonisation, looking at the links between Aboriginal and Palestinian struggles against colonialism. Through our conversation we'll explore ideas and practices of solidarity and discuss ways we can all engage in movements for decolonisation.

Donation entry: $15/$10.
All proceeds go to Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance

Dr Gary Foley
Dr Clare Land
Dr Sary Zananiri
Video presentation by Niva Grunzwieg from Zochrot.
Chaired by Dr Jordy Silverstein

Dr Gary Foley is a Gumbainggir man who has been at the centre of political organising for Aboriginal rights since the 70’s. He has been a writer, educator, researcher, activist, museum curator and actor and is currently a History Professor at Victoria University. Gary has a PhD in History for which he was awarded the University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. He helped to set up Sydney's Aboriginal Legal Service and Aboriginal Medical Service, as well as the Aboriginal medical service in Melbourne. In 1971 he was a key organiser of demonstrations against the Springbok tour. He also cofounded the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. Since then Gary Foley has led Aboriginal protests, including at the Commonwealth games and Australia’s bicentenary, been a consultant to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody and been instrumental in educating non-Indigenous people about colonisation and Aboriginal rights. 

Dr Clare Land is a non-Aboriginal activist and researcher who has been involved in supporting Aboriginal land rights struggles in southeast Australia since 1998. Clare has a PhD from Deakin University. Her thesis was awarded the 2013 Isi Leibler Prize and is the basis of her book, Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and directions for supporters of Indigenous struggles. Her book, published in 2015, has been taken up as a vital resource by activists and scholars, both in Australia and Internationally. In it she examines the spaces between Aboriginal aspirations and non-Aboriginal supporters, outlining the ways in which non-Indigenous allies can adopt a more critical political framework which places their lives in relation to ongoing colonisation and explores pathways towards decolonisation. Clare also has a BA(Hons)/BSc from the University of Melbourne, where she was awarded the Margaret Kiddle Prize in History and the WMC Prize for archival research, and is a volunteer at 3CR where she has presented the ‘Fire First’ show for 10 years along with well-known Gunai/Mara activist Robbie Thorpe. 

Dr Sary Zananiri is an Australian-Palestinian artist and academic. He completed a PhD in Fine Arts at Monash University looking at the evolving representations of the Palestinian landscape. In his work he examines the colonial processes imbedded in the imaging of Palestine. He has shown both in Australia and internationally and has produced collaborative commissions with Beth Arnold for the Laneways Commissions in 2008 and Places Victoria in 2012. In 2013 he exhibited Pines, Panoramas and Palestine: three proposals for reading the past as his PhD examination at MADA Gallery. More recently he showed Unpicking Jerusalem: a re-examination of the archives at Little Woods Gallery in Melbourne and was shortlisted for the National Emerging Art Glass Prize at the Wagga Wagga Glass Museum in 2016. 

In 2008 he received an Emerging Artist Skills and Development grant from the Australia Council to travel to Palestine. From 2010 – 2011 he was a guest editor for online journal Art Territories. He is currently continuing research undertaken during his PhD towards a book on the imaging of Jerusalem. He is currently a co-director of the Palestinian Film Festival in Australia and lectures in the Glass Studio at Monash University.

The panel will also consist of a video presentation prepared especially for this event by Niva Grunzweig from the organisation Zochrot.
Niva Grunzwieg worked as a producer in cultural and educational organisations and later on in the social-political arena: the People's Court for Public Housing and the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony. While working with "Zochrot" she organised the Second Return Conference, the second "48 mm" film festival, and the public event of the first Truth Commission. Since 2015 she has been the Public Outreach Coordinator. 
Niva has a BA in Art History, Philosophy and Indian Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MA in Organizational Counselling and Development from the College of Management Academic Studies. She was born and raised in Kibbutz Revivim and currently lives in Tel Aviv.

Zochrot is active to promote the Jewish Israeli public’s responsibility for the ongoing Nakba and to exercise the Palestinian refugees’ right of return as its necessary historical redress.

The panel will be chaired by Dr Jordy Silverstein, a member of the executive of the AJDS and a historian and writer based at Melbourne University.

This event is hosted on Wurundjeri land.