Storymaking Belonging

Tracey Bunda, Robyn Heckenberg, Kim Snepvangers, Louise Gwenneth Phillips, Alexandra Lasczik, Alison L. Black


Sometimes data invites more of us. To be physically held and touched, through hands creating and crafting with matter, cultivating a closer connection to the fibres, threads, textures and sinews of data. Through touching and shaping the materiality of data, other beings, places and times are aroused. Here, we share the story of data that invited more of us and how this has spurred the creation of an exhibition titled Stories of Belonging with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artist/scholars for an arts festival in Queensland, Australia. This work by the collective, SISTAS Holding Space, deeply interrogates our ontological positionality as researchers, in particular what this means in the Australian context – a colonised nation populated through waves of migration.  The scars of colonization, migration and shame are held and heard through Black and White Australian women creating and interrogating belonging alongside each other – listening and holding space for each other. We air the pains of ontological destruction, silencing, disconnection and emptiness. Through experimental making research methodology, we argue the primacy of storying and making, and for provoking resonant and entangled understandings of belonging and displacement.


Indigenous women; White women; storying; belonging; ancestry; place; making; stitching

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