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Powerhouse-galang Launches Vol 1 at La Biennale di Venezia 2022

galang book opened. Left page has the word galang printed in white text against an orange backgroundApril 22, 2022

galang vol 01 book. Image by Zan Wimberley.
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The Powerhouse today announced galang volume 01 will launch at La Biennale di Venezia 2022 on Saturday 23 April in tandem with aabaakawad and in rapport with the Sámi Pavilion. This inaugural publication is an outcome of Powerhouse-galang, an Indigenous-led think tank, collective and sovereign space initiated by Powerhouse Artistic Associate and Wiradjuri/Celtic artist, writer and curator Dr Brook Andrew, in collaboration with an international collective of First Nations artists, academics and curators. Galang members empower individual practices and create space to support and share culture and creative practice, and challenge and imbed Indigenous giira (future/futurism) into museums and their collections.

The launch of the publication occupies an important moment of Indigenous representation in the history of the Biennale, with the transformation of the Nordic Pavilion into the Sámi Pavilion; Nepal’s first ever pavilion featuring the work of Tsherin Sherpa; the first Pasifika artist to represent Aotearoa/New Zealand, Yuki Kihara; and the participation of the renowned international First Nations creative gathering aabaakwad in collaboration with the Sámi Pavilion.

galang volume 01 is a co-publishing initiative between Powerhouse Publishing and Garru Editions, Dr Andrew’s publishing entity, and is the first of its kind in institutional publishing. It is art directed by Gulumerridjin, Wardaman and KarraJarri artist and designer, Jenna Lee. The book flips in the middle as a reflection of the multiple voices it contains, and the many ways of reading and interpreting it. It is an object without beginning or end to reflect the circularity of time and stories that fold and turn on themselves.

Contributors and members of the galang collective include Dr Léuli Eshrāghi, Sāmoan/Persian/Cantonese artist, curator and scholar based in Meanjin (Brisbane), Australia and Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), Canada; Dr Liisa-Rávná Finbog, Sámi scholar and practitioner of duojár based in Tampere, Finland; Lisa Hilli, Papua New Guinea/Australian artist and scholar based in Birrarung-ga/Naarm (Melbourne), Australia; Dr Biung Ismahasan, Taiwanese Indigenous Bunun Nation curator, artist and researcher based in Taipei, Taiwan; Gail Mabo, artist, educator and performer from Mer (Murray Island), Torres Strait Islands, based in Townsville, Australia; Mayunkiki, Ainu artist, educator, performer and musician based in Hokkaido, Japan; and Kanoko Tamura, art translator and collaborator with Mayunkiki based in Tokyo, Japan. The Powerhouse-galang collective convenes regularly to discuss the role of museums and other cultural institutions in the past and present colonisation of First Nations people.

“We hope that the galang publication series will inspire, share and spark a sovereign space in the often traumatic and awkward museum spaces surrounding our histories, belongings and bodies, and inspire giira leadership by sovereign peoples that have been subjected (and still are) to colonialisms,” said Powerhouse Artistic Associate Dr Brook Andrew. 

“The Western terms Indigenous, First People, First Nation, Original Peoples and Aboriginal, are a few global terms that both bind and separate us as diverse people who come together in this publication in an action of galang (belonging) to each other as peoples affected by colonialism. These terms are complex burdens as much as they are complex recognitions. The international recognition of terms such as Indigenous unites many of us in our continued struggle (or fight) for sovereignty, visibility and power. We stand together in solidarity and recognition of the brutality that colonialism has enforced upon us.”

“Despite the very real devastation experienced by our peoples, which has heavily impacted on many of our ways of knowing, of being, and of doing, our cultures are ongoing and they survive as thriving, global, contemporary and ancient communities. We emerge from geographies, spatiality’s and cultures that have existed for tens of thousands of years in continuous places that have been invaded by others, yet we still hold firm and connect like a spider’s web across the globe to bring us a sense of strength and solidarity,” said the galang collective.

“The Powerhouse is proud to facilitate this international dialogue of esteemed First Nations artists, curators and writers, launching at La Biennale di Venezia 2022. We are committed to providing an environment of solidarity and reflection, and elevating First Nations voices for a self-determined future. We are actively embedding First Nations ways of working across all areas of the museum, from collections to curatorial, publications, public programs, design and delivery, operations, strategy and governance. This international collective of First Nations thought leaders will play an instrumental role in the museums of the future,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive, Lisa Havilah.

galang volume 01 will be launched in Sydney at Powerhouse Late: Sydney Writers Festival on Thursday 19 May. Copies will be available for purchase at the Powerhouse Shop from this date, or can be purchased online now from Manic Books (RRP $60).

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Images available for download here

Media Enquiries
Georgia McKay, Head of Communications & Engagement Powerhouse
georgia.mckay@maas.museum / 0466 223 293

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