Cultural Burning and the Interstices of Two Vernacular Cultural Forms

  • Campbell DrakeEmail author
Conference paper


Investigating the complexity of vernacular subjects within the context of intercultural land ownership in Australia, this research examines how site specific performance can activate engagement in the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes. The paper is centred on a performance event titled Cultural Burn that took place in 2016, on an 8000-hectare property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a land bank established for the dispossession of Aboriginal people. Drawing a comparison between the traditional Aboriginal land management practice of cultural burning, and the burning of a western cultural artefact, the research explores the cultural, ethical and political resonance of burning a piano on Barkanji Country within an ephemeral billabong. Addressing vernacularity in relation to how we are positioned at the interstices between subjects, knowledge systems, histories, traditions and practices, the research explores how vernacular subjects are presented, represented and practiced within an intercultural, cross-disciplinary and post-colonial context.


Cultural burning Site specific performance Piano burning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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