MTalks
BLAKitecture: Kinship

Free!

MPavilion
Queen Victoria Gardens
Opposite the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria)
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Queen Victoria Gardens
Birrarung. Photo by Jon Clements.

Our Way: We hold kinship responsibilities to Country. No single person can know everything. Individuals are responsible for looking after elements of Country that they are in kinship with. When we come together as a community, we can make better decisions with Country, by listening to Country’s collective voice that speaks through the kinships of those present.

Now Way: The responsibility to speak for and advocate for Country within design projects usually falls on one or two people, be they the Traditional Owner engaged on the project or the First Nations members of the design team, rather than a collective. Are we setting projects up to fail if we continue to operate this way?

As permanent visitors, working in professions that re-shape Country, what if every person on a team shared the responsibility to look after Country by following a kinship to Country model? What would be the benefits and the potential pitfalls? Where would the line need to be drawn between appropriate and appropriation?

MPavilion’s sixth annual BLAKitecture forum aims to centralise Indigenous voices in conversations about architecture, the representation of histories, and the present and future states of our built environments. Blakitecture is curated by MPavilion’s program consultant Sarah Lynn Rees.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.