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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Our Cosmic Bond


Recently I’ve been witnessing an arrogance around a vacuity of values in settler artistic practice that troubles me. There's this problematic fragile self-absorption to deny and distance oneself from the community when our artistic impact is called out for oppression. When one has been called to account for said impact there's then this gross exertion of settler power and privilege that denies any responsibility and or intersection with morality.

Then the next stage of this shirk appears to be a self-imposed injury around having ones privilege be accounted for. This de-centres the lives and experiences of those reclaiming equitable space which creates this dysfunctional mutation further exemplifying the original oppressive acts which further exacerbates the problem.

It's a love child of white/settler and artistic fragility. This level of egoism detrimentally impacts us all, especially when it results in people mistaking courage for respect. This public display of fawning reminds me of this.

Making space for those who've been treated inequitably, especially if you've been a decision maker that created and stewarded in that discriminatory environment, is not brave. It is not “courageous” to be a decent human being. I find it especially lacks courage when artists conveniently choose to manoeuvre their utility of moral intersections to only when it conveniently serves their "art" and themselves comfortably. I see Settler artists refusing to acknowledge ones relationality to the impact they have on the ecology and I don't understand what's this in service to?

There's this secular approach to art creation that denies our interconnectedness and spherical positioning to all things at all times and it makes me sad that people have journeyed so far away from this notion. To help clarify the secularism I'll use the category of “environmental theatre”.

What. the fuck. is that?!

Has Euro-Settler art severed itself so violently from the relationship to our original Mother the Earth that we have to write plays about the "environment". Why the need to sever the inherent webs that connect us all, why deny these interwoven relations. The ideology that it is not extractable is more complicated and less convenient, which in my opinion creates more interesting art --- ooooooh I said it.

Friends - I am bound to you and you to I because we are fused together by one cosmology.

A denial of that entanglement lacks the humility to respect the scope and truth of what it means to exist with one another.

As an Indigenous person I am inextricable from the land because I am the land. The mountains and the water are my kin and settler secularism denies the beauty and power of that relational truth. It forces a paradigm of the lowest common denominator, nothing courageous or artistically innovative can be created from this vulnerability devoid space.

Our choices have impacts and we leave residue, echoes in the cosmic, that is how powerful our lives and art are and I hope we can all find the courage to honour that truth. I believe our children's lives depend on it.

With great humility and a deep love to bear witness to your courageous truth,

Kim

p.s I'm also going to stop thanking people for behaving appropriately. Not being an asshole doesn't mean you get a thank you, even if you're impressed with your own non-assholeness.