Walking walking walking
storefronts dimly revealing dust-covered goods inside
weeds sprouting up cracks in the pavement
bushes crowding out asphalt where no sidewalk exists
cars whooshing past with incurious gazes
the landscape moves
there is space to notice
if we choose.
My recent body of work uses walking as a medium for witnessing place, especially urban spaces, to feel the histories of violence, colonization, and racism that have shaped place and still affect our internal and external experiences of place.
“For our people, the land is corporeal—sentient with the spiritual essence of our ancestors. And this applies in cities as much as it does in rural or remote areas. But it is particularly in the context of urban environments that the protocol of welcome to country or acknowledgement of country becomes highly pertinent, in reiterating our enduring connection and serving as a reminder that the urban landscape is still ‘country.’ It is particularly important for members of Aboriginal communities as visitors or speakers on someone else’s country to observe this protocol at events such as this, but it is also vitally important for non-Indigenous people to recognise that we retain, in the 21st century, the connection to country that is our inheritance as the first people of this land.”
— Hetti Perkins, “Indigenous Voices Telling Untold Stories in the Public Domain,” in Civic Actions: Artists' Practices Beyond the Museum, edited by Blair French and Anne Loxley, 2017.