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Description - Creative Presence: Settler Colonialism, Indigenous Self-Determination and Decolonial Contemporary Artwork by Emily Merson

Historically, artwork has played a powerful role in shaping settler colonial subjectivity and the political imagination of Westphalian sovereignty through the canonization of particular visual artworks, aesthetic theories, and art institutions' methods of display.

Engaging directly with Indigenous contemporary artists, this book makes the case that decolonial aesthetics is a form of knowledge production that calls attention to the foundational violence of settler colonialism in the formation of the world order of sovereign states. Contemporary Indigenous artists' projects that engage with the political violences of settler colonialism demonstrate how artwork can play a key role in decolonizing political imagination and academic knowledge production about territorial sovereignty and in Indigenous peoples' reclamations of relationships with traditional lands and waterways.

This book contributes a transnational feminist intersectional analysis of artwork as a powerful force in world politics and argues that contemporary artwork is a site of knowledge production that provides vital insights for scholars of world politics. The objective is to contribute to IR debates on aesthetics, anarchy/hierarchy in world ordering, and structure/agency as well as to contribute to public conversations on the politics of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous settlers in global contexts.

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