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Conference proceedings

How can we speak of the “State of Australasian Cities” without examining the conditions in which we are here, speaking? Reckoning with the complicity of the urban fields and professions with colonialism is long past due. Racism, coloniality and dispossession are the State of Australasian Cities. Yet cities are also spaces of Indigenous strength, survivance and connections with and as urban places. What does it mean to grapple with these complex realities? To speak about such matters, especially within a space like a conference, also demands a reckoning with questions about who can speak and how we are heard. Who is speaking and in what forms. Preparing this track theme demanded confronting some difficult questions. How to speak into the silence about race, coloniality, and dispossession in the urban fields - bring that silence to an end - without that being a further burden placed on those marked by the experience of colonial injury? Can white or non-Indigenous people do this work? Why do many of them/us avoid it? Should those who have to keep surviving that colonial injury be the only people to take on the vulnerability that comes with ending that silence? Are there ways of doing this work together, in solidarity, without losing sight of the power relations that structure this project or the accountabilities that power produces? These questions matter.

But if our research and urban interventions continue as if colonialism is not a function of our urban histories and our imagined urban futures then the silence just keeps getting louder. If urban fields and professions fail to engage more broadly and deeply with urban Indigenous lives and knowledges, we will only continue to sideline and silence Indigenous voices. Choosing to remain silent is a practice of colonial power in and of itself. In this track, we refuse that silence and rise to the challenge of a reckoning.

This track includes research papers, provocations, panel discussions, or other forms of knowledge sharing and creation related to: Understanding the conditions, mechanisms, practices and experiences of settler-colonial urbanism; The praxis of addressing/sharing the burden of settler colonial injury – spaces of urban resistance, refusal and resurgence Piercing the silence – polyvocal, multilingual but also more-than-human literacy and storying. This can include digital echoes - images, videos, films (including 3D), zines, comics, artworks; also blogs, poetry, musings, sketches, maps, collages, experimental theatre, dance, songs Indigenous life, Indigenous cities and Indigenous radical thought and praxis (Un)settling the urban archive of genocide and ecocide; Decolonising urban governance; Undoing the violence of racial capitalism and extractive economies; Experimenting with urban infrastructures of everyday and institutional racism; Migrant voices of colour and the settler colonial city; Listening and walking with urban Country – atmospheric, subterranean, oceanic, celestial, elemental, spiritscapes; Solidarity in the city – forging bonds between diverse struggles; The passion of anti-colonial dissent – emotion and urban resistance; Settler colonial fragmentation – exploring ways in which the settler colonial city shatters lives as it renders others.

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