People and Animal Interactions: A Relational Approach to the Study of Social Identity in North-Eastern Kimberley Rock Art, Australia
Ana Paula Motta
Ana Paula Motta
Western categories have often been applied to the study of indigenous ontology, art, and social identity, which had/has an influence on how these communities are seen by scholars, the general public, and the media as some believe they were/are incapable of producing Kimberley art. Ana Paula Motta͛s proposal contributes towards a decolonising agenda by deconstructing Western categories of identity, and incorporating more inclusive interpretations and narratives of the figurative art from the area, which can ultimately mitigate the distance between ͚we͛ and ͚them͛.
This is the first time social identity is being addressed in the region and will have high international and local impact.
Internationally speaking, it will influence how identity is perceived by rock art researchers and heritage professionals. It will also be of great significance for WA since it holds the potential to understand how past and present societies cope(d) with a changing environment through the study of human depictions.
Ana’s research addresses questions of identity and embodiment among the Irregular Infill Animal, Gwion Gwion, Static Polychrome, Painted Hand, and Wanjina rock art styles from the Kimberley Region.
Emphasis will be placed on the role human figures (and other associated elements) played in past populations and the character of human/animals interactions, in order to: explore how past populations represented individual and group identity/ies and infer how these representations reproduced certain categories of person.