Through That Which Separates Us

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Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Cover Design for Through That Which Separates Us (2021), Courtesy The Physics Room and Te Reo Kē.

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Through That Which Separates Us


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Conceptualised and developed by contemporary artist Cushla Donaldson with publishers Te Reo Kē and The Physics Room, Through That Which Separates Us is a collection of writing, artworks, and interviews which form a genealogy of deportation in Australasia and the Pacific. Taking as its point of departure Cushla Donaldson’s artwork 501s, first staged at the Melbourne Art Fair in 2018, this book seeks both to make transparent the mechanisms of separation and to foster forms of planetary solidarity that might abolish their conditions.

Deportation is an organising principle that has begun to impress itself across all areas of social life. Yet discussions of deportation rarely interrogate the origins of the practice as a settler colonial technique, nor the complex relations between migration and indigeneity that these origins bring to light.

The collection understands the experiences of the so-called 501s, held in Australian detention centres and often deported on the basis of a ‘character test’, as a paradigmatic case illustrating the intersection of xenophobia and settler colonial violence. Through That Which Separates Us is a significant new collection that interrogates the epistemological, affective, and aesthetic dimensions of life in a world structured by separation. As Trans-Tasman and Pacific tensions rise, the book serves as urgent reading.

Edited by Simon Barber and Miri Davidson

Concept Development by Cushla Donaldson

Designed by Gabi Lardies with illustrations by Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho

Printed by SOAR Print

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