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Waiting for Infrastructure, Waiting for Bureaucracy

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Event description

Panel Discussion: Saturday 23 April, 12.30 pm - 2 pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Waiting for Infrastructure, Waiting for Bureaucracy

This panel is inspired by Yanyuwa Garrwa artist Miriam Charlie’s exhibition, ‘The Promise of Housing’, showing at Tin Sheds Gallery from 6 April to 14 May, 2022. Charlie’s photographic series documents the condition of housing at Borroloola, Northern Territory, while residents wait for necessary repairs and maintenance and new housing stock. Responding to Charlie’s series, panelists Liam Grealy, Jason De Santolo, Andrew Brooks, Astrid Lorange, and Naama Blatman will consider the history, causes, and contemporary experience of bureaucratic delay and waiting, as a symptom of infrastructural inequality in settler colonial Australia. 

Waiting is never neutral. We should always consider: who is required to wait, for how long, and under what conditions? Waiting is the underside of a promise, of an implied social contract or a literal commitment of policy. The promise of repairs, of a hearing, of rights, citizenship, and land back. Waiting for such promises to be delivered is subject to all manner of delay, neglect, and abandonment, by anarchic, punitive, and shapeshifting settler governments. The promise of infrastructure, in particular, is often highly speculative, with commitments compromised and withdrawn, and temporalities of delivery revised and deferred. In queues, with broken things, at borders, and in remote communities, those forced to wait develop and enact tactics of complaint, organising, and refusal that accelerate the provision of infrastructure and reject the legitimacy of that provisioning altogether. 

  • Liam Grealy – Research Fellow, Housing for Health Incubator, University of Sydney
  • Jason De Santolo (Garrwa and Barunggam) – Director of Indigenous Research, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney
  • Andrew Brooks – Lecturer in the School of Arts & Media, University of New South Wales and Astrid Lorange – Senior Lecturer in the School of Art & Design, University of New South Wales
  • Naama Blatman – Research Theme Fellow Urban Living, Futures & Society, Western Sydney University

Image (detail): House 14 Yanyuwa Camp by Miriam Charlie, 2019. 

Polaroid photo with handwritten notes. Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery, Sydney

Further information

For gallery talks and events please visit our events web page.

For further details on this exhibition and on the 2022 Tin Sheds Gallery program please visit the gallery website

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