Protecting Indigenous Art

From T-shirts to the Flag

Colin Golvan
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Protecting Indigenous Art

Published

17 September 2024

ISBN

9780522880342

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Protecting Indigenous Art

From T-shirts to the Flag

Colin Golvan
There is the country we can see with our own eyes, and then there is the otherworldly country as seen through Indigenous eyes that we can hardly comprehend but glimpse through the vivid colours, shapes and imagery of the artworks and the recounting of fabled stories and settings.
The unauthorised use of Indigenous artworks is a global industry that damages cultural integrity and harms the livelihoods of artists and their communities. While the western idea of private or individual ownership can be at significant odds with tenets of Indigenous ownership and control, copyright remains one of the primary tools available to protect Indigenous visual artists from fakes, cultural threat and appropriation. In Protecting Indigenous Art, leading intellectual-property barrister Colin Golvan provides a privileged insight into how legal protection of Indigenous art offers unique opportunities to empower Indigenous artists and their communities. Golvan gives a first-hand account of landmark legal…
There is the country we can see with our own eyes, and then there is the otherworldly country as seen through Indigenous eyes that we can hardly comprehend but glimpse through the vivid colours, shapes and imagery of the artworks and the recounting of fabled stories and settings.
The unauthorised use of Indigenous artworks is a global industry that damages cultural integrity and harms the livelihoods of artists and their communities. While the western idea of private or individual ownership can be at significant odds with tenets of Indigenous ownership and control, copyright remains one of the primary tools available to protect Indigenous visual artists from fakes, cultural threat and appropriation. In Protecting Indigenous Art, leading intellectual-property barrister Colin Golvan provides a privileged insight into how legal protection of Indigenous art offers unique opportunities to empower Indigenous artists and their communities. Golvan gives a first-hand account of landmark legal campaigns such as the unauthorised reproduction of prominent Bulun Bulun artworks on to T-shirts, the seminal carpets case, the campaign to recover the copyright of Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira and the extraordinary story of the Aboriginal flag. Altogether, we get an understanding of the importance of protection for this much-loved form of artistic and cultural expression.

Colin Golvan

Colin Golvan

Colin Golvan AM KC is a long-time member of the Victorian Bar, with extensive involvement in the arts as an author, legal adviser and counsel, as a board member and supporter of arts organisations.

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