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Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age

Post-Workshop Report, December 2017

Holly Randell-Moon

Department of Media, Film and Communication

University of Otago

holly.randell-moon@otago.ac.nz

The Workshop

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age took place at the University of Otago 6-8 May 2016. The conference was an academic and activist event featuring workshops, talks, and exhibitions which addressed the intersections of criminal justice movements centred on the incarceration of migrants and communities of colour and Indigenous sovereign movements. The conference featured:

Fadak Alfayadh (RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees – the only support organisation run by and for refugees and ex-detainees in Australia)

Tracey Barnett (independent, internationally recognised journalist working on refugee processing and detention policies)

Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington – an internationally recognised expert in racial stereotyping and active member of the Tulalip community)

Mengzhu Fu (Shakti Youth, Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand – a support organisation for migrant women)

Tame Iti (Ngāi Tūhoe activist)

Moana Jackson (internationally revered Māori lawyer specialising in Treaty and constitutional issues)

Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out, Melbourne, Australia – a support organisation for imprisoned women)

Suzanne Menzies-Culling and Marie Laufiso (Tauiwi Solutions – a local organisation which provides cultural diversity and bicultural training and education)

Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland – a Māori expert in constitutional and Treaty issues)

Emilie Rākete (No Pride in Prisons – a New Zealand-based support network for transgender and Māori prisoners)

Annette Sykes (Treaty and human rights activist and lawyer)

Teanau Tuiono (Māori and Pacific climate change activist)

Over the three days of the conference, approximately 60 scholars, activists, social justice advocates, and community members from diverse regions of Aotearoa, the United States, Australasia, and Canada attended. The conference was well-received by participants, some of whom had expressed an initial reluctance to enter a university and speak critically and freely about the racisms underpropping carceral and policing practices in New Zealand. We were also pleased that the majority of the speakers were people of colour and women with a large number of Indigenous scholars and thinkers (Stephanie Fryberg, Moana Jackson, Margaret Mutu, Annette Sykes, Emilie Rākete, and Teanau Tuiono).

Outcomes included: collaboration between refugee, climate change, and Indigenous sovereignty advocates to strategise abolitionist practice in ways that recognise Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and place-based responsibilities; the production of an educational/action-research booklet outlining the methods through which this collaboration and organising can take place, including the dissemination of knowledge on the racial histories of Australiasian geographies (Incarceration, Migration and Indigenous Sovereignty: Thoughts on Existence and Resistance in Racist Times, edited by Holly Randell-Moon, 2017); a special journal issue of Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, co-edited by Holly Randell-Moon, Bell Murphy, and Pounamu Jade Aikman; and sponsorship of Transplanted: Refugee Portraits of New Zealand exhibition, Dunedin Community Art Gallery, May 7-18, 2016. The exhibition was attended by over 1000 people and featured educational events with local high schools.

The special issue of Sites, “Carceral Continuities: Indigenous Peoples and the Colonial Politics of Prisons”, emerges from contributions to the 2016 conference, which combined activist and academic insights to address the nexus between Indigenous sovereignty, criminal justice, and the incarceration of peoples of colour. This collection of essays variously explores these themes within the Australian, Canadian and Aotearoa/New Zealand contexts, by focusing on the violent management and regulation of Indigenous life by the settler colonial state. What our contributors reveal is an on-going, multipronged assault on Indigenous sovereignty: whether in public spaces, prisons, or rural Indigenous communities, the supremacy of the state violently reinscribes itself at the expense of Indigenous existence. The issue features contributions from Moana Jackson, Margaret Boyce, David MacDonald and Jacqueline Gillis, Jade Aikman, and Liam Grealy.

Plans for the future

There have been many evolutions of the organisations involved in this conference as they have refined their scope to include Indigenous sovereign perspectives. In addition, many cross-organisational groups such as Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga were formed out of collaborations established at Space, Race, Bodies II. The website, http://www.spaceracebodies.com, will continue to support the promotion of these organisations’ work as well as the research outputs generated from the conference. A third Space, Race, Bodies conference, entitled “Walls”, is being held in 2018, which will incorporate the lessons and relationships learned and established through Space, Race, Bodies II…

Space, Race, Bodies III: Walls

Featuring keynote speakers: Associate Professor Leonie Pihama (University of Waikato) and Professor Alexander G. Weheliye (Northwestern University)

Space, Race, Bodies III: Walls is an academic and activist conference that addresses contemporary geographical and cultural practices premised on the construction and maintenance of walls, fences, barriers, and borders of all kinds. The conference is scheduled to take place on June 30th-July 1st, 2018, at the University of Otago / Te Whare Wānanga o Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand / Ōtepoti, Aotearoa.

The construction of walls for security practices related to migration, asylum and refuge, and domestic prisons has significant human rights and social justice implications. Such practices are inextricably tied to social forms of exclusion and discrimination that create barriers to social, political, and economic well-being. The purpose of this conference is to facilitate engagement between academic researchers, criminal justice organisations, and migrant advocates on the local as well as trans-national connections between practices of security and social exclusion as they effect communities of colour, migrants, and Indigenous peoples. The conference invites abstracts, panels, and workshop proposals that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

the human rights implications of security practices, particularly in terms of intersections between border exclusions and disability, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity;

the historical connections between geographies of exclusion and contemporary geopolitical forms of migration management
alternatives to violent forms of border management and other creative and activist ways of tearing down walls;

Indigenous sovereignties, climate change, and migration;

carceral politics and practices;

social forms of inclusion and exclusion premised on race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, and class;

barriers to health and education in policy and political communication;

capitalism and socio-economic forms of inclusion and exclusion;

the military-industrial complex;

dataveillance and new technologies of surveillance;

biotechnologies, race, and racisms;

geodata and new technologies of mapping and cartography;

resource commodification and barriers to land and sea for public and Indigenous communities; and

media biopower.

SRB III builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first two Space, Race, Bodies conferences in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism, and racialisation. SRB I: Geocorpographies of City, Nation, Empire took place in December, 2014, at the University of Otago and featured keynotes included: Professor Joseph Pugliese (Macquarie University), Professor Jacinta Ruru (University of Otago), Professor Susan Stryker (University of Arizona), and Professor Jasbir Puar (Rutgers University). SRB II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age took place in May, 2016, and included: Fadak Alfayadh (RISE: Refugees, Survivors, and Ex-Detainees), Associate Professor Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington), Tame Iti, Moana Jackson, Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out), Suzanne Menzies-Culling and Marie Laufiso (Tauiwi Solutions), Professor Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland), Teanau Tuiono, Emmy Rākete (No Pride in Prisons), and Annette Sykes. More information on these events can be found at: http://www.spaceracebodies.com

Interested participants should send 200w abstracts and proposals, including a 50w bio, to space.race.bodies@otago.ac.nz

The deadline for proposals is April 1st, 2018.

All queries and questions can be sent to space.race.bodies@otago.ac.nz

***

SRBII

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age

University of Otago

May 6-8, 2016

Featuring:

Fadak Alfayadh (RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees)

Tracey Barnett (Independent Journalist)

Mengzhu Fu (Shakti Youth)

Associate Professor Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington)

Tame Iti

Moana Jackson

Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out)

Suzanne Menzies-Culling and Marie Laufiso (Tauiwi Solutions)

Professor Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland)

Emilie Rākete (No Pride in Prisons)

Annette Sykes

Teanau Tuiono

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age is an academic and activist conference featuring workshops that address the intersections of criminal justice movements around the incarceration of migrants and communities of colour and Indigenous sovereign movements. SRB II builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first Space, Race, Bodies conference in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism and racialisation.

Presentations and panels are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following:

surveillance and imprisonment in settler colonial and imperial histories

detention and surveillance of migrants and refugees

racial profiling and state violence towards ethnic and marginalised communities

geographies of torture in the ‘war on terror’

the geopolitics of homonormativity and pinkwashing

hate crimes and the role of imprisonment as a key modality through which rights protections are secured

intersectionality and social and political forms of exclusion

community and activist challenges to state violence and detention

Indigenous sovereign protest movements

corporeality, race and biometrics

capitalism, race and incarceration

the prison industrial complex

digital forms of enclosure and surveillance

race, racialisation and geography

climate change, migration and asylum

protest camps and state surveillance

Please note that general submissions on the theme of space, race, and embodiment are welcome. We also invite workshops, creative performance and other community forms of participation.

For more information about the conference and the SRB collective, please visit our website: http://www.spaceracebodies.com

Abstracts of 200 words with an accompanying 50-word bio can be sent to: Space.Race.Bodies@otago.ac.nz

We will accept abstracts on a rolling basis until April 1, 2016.

Conference organisers:

Holly Randell-Moon

Mahdis Azarmandi

(University of Otago)

Conference committee:

Rula Abu-Safieh Talahma

Jade Aikman

Tonga Karena

Bell Murphy

Anne Russell

Matiu Workman

*         *         *

***Call for papers, 20.01.16***

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand/Aotearoa

May 6-8, 2016

Featuring:

  • Tracey Barnett (Independent Journalist)
  • Mengzhu Fu (Shakti Youth)
  • Associate Professor Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington)
  • Tame Iti
  • Debbie Kilroy (CEO of Sisters Inside)
  • Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out)
  • Suzanne Menzies-Culling (Tauiwi Solutions)
  • Professor Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland)
  • Emilie Rākete (No Pride in Prisons)
  • Teanau Tuiono

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age is an academic and activist conference featuring workshops that address the intersections of criminal justice movements around the incarceration of migrants and communities of colour and Indigenous sovereign movements. SRB II builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first Space, Race, Bodies conference in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism and racialisation.

Presentations and panels are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following:

  • surveillance and imprisonment in settler colonial and imperial histories
  • detention and surveillance of migrants and refugees
  • racial profiling and state violence towards ethnic and marginalised communities
  • geographies of torture in the ‘war on terror’
  • the geopolitics of homonormativity and pinkwashing
  • hate crimes and the role of imprisonment as a key modality through which rights protections are secured
  • intersectionality and social and political forms of exclusion
  • community and activist challenges to state violence and detention
  • Indigenous sovereign protest movements
  • corporeality, race and biometrics
  • capitalism, race and incarceration
  • the prison industrial complex
  • digital forms of enclosure and surveillance
  • race, racialisation and geography
  • climate change, migration and asylum
  • protest camps and state surveillance

Please note that general submissions on the theme of space, race, and embodiment are welcome. We also invite workshops, creative performance and other community forms of participation.

For more information about the conference and the SRB collective, please visit our website: http://www.spaceracebodies.com

Abstracts of 200 words with an accompanying 50-word bio can be sent to: Space.Race.Bodies@otago.ac.nz

We will accept abstracts on a rolling basis until April 1, 2016.

Conference organisers:

  • Dr. Holly Randell-Moon
  • Mahdis Azarmandi

(University of Otago)

Conference committee:

  • Rula Abu-Safieh Talahma
  • Bell Murphy
  • Joanna Tang

(University of Otago)

SPACE RACE BODIES II

“Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age”

University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand

6-8 May 2016

“Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age”is an academic and activist conference featuring workshops that address the intersections of criminal justice movements around the incarceration of migrants and communities of colour and Indigenous sovereign movements. SRB II builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first Space, Race, Bodies conference in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism and racialization.

Criminal justice movements organised around challenging the detention of asylum seekers and migrants and Indigenous sovereign protests constitute radical interventions into the operation of state power. Such movements demonstrate how racisms and racial discrimination fundamentally sustain state power and spatial practices of detention and exclusion of minority communities from public and civil life. Race is typically separated from the law and formal criminal procedures because the abolition of explicitly racist policies prohibits discrimination on the basis of race.

Critical scholarship on the prison industrial complex, settler colonialism and criminal justice advocates have all argued for the necessity of viewing race and racisms as a central component of state power and its spatial regulation of minority communities (see Davis 2003; Nash 2011; Wilson Gilmore 2007). A significant, but small, body of scholarship exists on the historical continuities between the use of prisons and punishment on Indigenous peoples in the early phases of settler colonialism, expressed “in the form of political, social and economic neglect” (Wadiwel 2007: 166), and contemporary practices of detainment with respect to peoples of colour, migrants and asylum seekers.

Other activist and scholarly work has pointed to the over-representation of First Nations peoples and communities of colour in prison systems as tied to the maintenance of white and racialised systems of privilege alongside the sustenance of privatised security and surveillance economies (see Behrendt et al. 2009; Golash-Boza 2009; Sudbury 2002). Sovereign Indigenous movements and activism reveal important insights into dominant forms of geo-political state power and capitalism alongside the revelation of alternative community and political arrangements of welcome and social wellbeing for citizens and non-citizens.

By bringing questions of Indigenous sovereignty to bear on critiques and activism around the prison industrial complex, the conference and workshops aim to contribute Indigenous and decolonising approaches to anti-racist understandings and contestations of state power as manifested through carceral practices of spatial management and exclusion of minority communities and peoples of colour.

Presentations and panels are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following:

–surveillance and imprisonment in settler colonial and imperial histories

–detention and surveillance of migrants and refugees

–racial profiling and state violence towards ethnic and marginalised communities

–geographies of torture in the “war on terror”

–the geopolitics of homonormativity and pinkwashing

–hate crimes and the role of imprisonment as a key modality through which rights protections are secured

–intersectionality and social and political forms of exclusion

–community and activist challenges to state violence and detention

–corporeality, race and biometrics

–capitalism, race and incarceration

–digital forms of enclosure and surveillance

–race, racialisation and geography

Please note that general submissions on the theme of space, race, and embodiment are welcome. We also invite workshops, creative performances and other community forms of participation.

For more information about the conference and the SRB collective, please visit our website: http://www.spaceracebodies.com

Abstracts of 200 words with an accompanying 50 word bio can be sent to: Space.Race.Bodies@otago.ac.nz

Conference organisers: Dr. Holly Randell-Moon and Mahdis Azarmandi (University of Otago)

References

Behrendt L, Cunneen C and Libesman T (2009) Indigenous Legal Relations in Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Davis A Y (2003) Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories

Golash-Boza T (2009) The immigration industrial complex: Why we enforce immigration policies destined to fail. Sociology Compass 3(2):295-309

Nash H J (ed) (2011) Special issue–Bio(necro)polis: Marx, surplus populations, and the spatial dialectics of reproduction and “race”. Antipode 43(5)

Sudbury J (2002) Celling black bodies: Black women in the global prison industrial complex. Feminist Review 70:57-74

Wadiwel D (2007) “A particularly governmental form of warfare”: Palm Island and Australian sovereignty. In S Perera (ed) Our Patch: Enacting Australian Sovereignty Post-2001 (pp149–66). Perth: Network Books

Wilson Gilmore R (2007) Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Berkeley: University of California Press

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