This Dying Goat is a School / Indigenous Gaze: Decolonising Visual Cultures / Archivo Papers Publication

“Without land, there is no cinema.” – Tikmū’ūn filmmaker Isael Maxakali.

I warmly invite you to discover a diversity of contributing authors for the beautiful issue launched by Archivo Papers: Journal of Photography and Visual Culture on the theme of “Indigenous Gaze: Decolonising Visual Cultures.” As guest editors Roberto Romero and Polina Golovátina-Mora open the issue, “the screen is not a neutral space but deeply embedded in the colonial world structure that reproduces colonizing practices as much as it itself is colonized. The decolonisation should be done from within the industry, the genre, both its linguistic and aesthetic language. Considering the structural nature of colonialism, decolonisation must be a profound complex and continuous effort towards questioning, deconstructing and decentralizing the practice of seeing, speaking and writing about it. It is not a one-time event, nor is it a one actor’s event.” I highly recommend this introduction and the contributions by Alessia Marzano, Astrid Korporaal, Helen Starr, Bianca Tiziana Salvo, Spring Ulmer, Amanda Fayant, Sueli Maxakali and Mohini Chandra.

In my paper, “This Dying Goat is a School: Indigenous trophy hunting pictures through the eyes of a non-indigenous researcher,” I search my way through the colonial pitfalls of filming and doing research as a white outsider in Indigenous contexts on the Pacific islands of Taiwan and Pongso no Tao. I attempt a nuanced discussion of the good practices of relational and grounded models for non-indigenous engagement with Indigenous research and try to position myself as a respectful visitor. These reflections materialize in the different modes of writing I explore inside the text, moving from the objective stance of academic writing to the experiential immediacy of semi-autobiographical fiction. 

A big thanks to the journal editors, the guest editors, and the amazing peer reviewers for helping me shape my thinking and writing!

Follow Joeri Verbesselt:
Joeri Verbesselt (°1990) is an artist and researcher interested in ecological imaginaries and grounding the human-animal relationship. His graduation film 'retreat' (2020) was screened internationally and he has published several essays and a short story. Since November 2019, his artistic research has been clustered in a Ph.D. in Arts, for which he obtained a fellowship from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). Joeri is a member of the 'Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture' (University of Leuven) and the artist and research collective 'deep histories fragile memories' (LUCA School of Arts, Brussels). Currently, he is working between Belgium and Indigenous contexts on Taiwan and Pongso no Tao.