A Positive Unsettlement: The Story of Sakshi Anmatyerre
This article tells the story of the mass marketing on stationery of the work of an artist, Sakshi Anmatyerre, whose claims to an Indigenous heritage and to the authority to paint particular designs, totems and motifs were vigorously contested, leading to the withdrawal of the stationery from sale. The efforts made by the publisher, Steve Parish, to atone for the offence caused to the Anmatyerre people are detailed. The article illustrates some of the issues involved in the commodification and commercial exchange of Indigenous artistic or cultural work - or rather, work which relies upon Indigenous connections for its aesthetic and financial value. The story told in this article is enlightening for what it reveals about the state of unsettlement that characterises debate over the 'appropriate' commercial use of Indigenous intellectual and cultural property, for the ways in which it is possible to achieve restitution when an offence against Indigenous law is alleged, and for the effects the process of seeking restitution has had on the business practices of one company.
Griffith Law Review