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POSTPONED – Share the Mic: Indigenous Knowledge–Aboriginal Artists & Law

February 22, 2022 | 5:00PM - 6:00PM


To complement our current exhibition, Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End, the Fowler is honored to bring together a group of Indigenous cultural ownership experts in the fields of law, education, copyright, and the art market to discuss the biggest challenges indigenous Australians face in their attempts to maintain control over their intellectual property. 

Case studies shared by three Australian aboriginal panelists will illuminate the work they do to protect Indigenous art, and the ways in which they rely on one another. Their presentations will be followed by a conversation moderated by Lauren van Schilfgaarde, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Director, Tribal Legal Development Clinic, Native Nations Law and Policy Center, UCLA School of Law. The speakers will discuss what, if any, cultural knowledge should remain internal and confidential, how the history of Australian-Aboriginal relations impacts the policies in place today, and what immediate and longer-term solutions are being applied to a variety of concerns in this field.

This program is co-presented by UCLA School of Law’s Native Nations Policy & Law Center.

Franchesca Cubillo, based in ​​Darwin, is a proud Yanuwa, Larrakia, Bardi, and Wardaman woman from the “Top End” of Australia. She is the Executive Director of First Nations Arts and Culture at the Australia Council for the Arts, and has more than 30 years’ experience in the museum and art gallery sector. Cubillo is the inaugural Chair of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation; has held numerous board and committee positions; and has worked for a number of national institutions across Australia. She has published extensively and presented lectures and keynote addresses on subjects such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture, and Australian Indigenous museology and curatorship.

Stephanie Parkin belongs to the Quandamooka People of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). In her role at the Copyright Agency, she assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists with licensing and resale royalty queries. Parkin is also Chairperson of the Indigenous Art Code, a voluntary Code of conduct aimed at promoting fair and ethical dealings between art dealers/licensors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Both roles have a strong focus on artist advocacy, including the launch of the Fake Art Harms Culture campaign in 2016. Parkin is involved in lobbying for stronger Indigenous cultural and intellectual property protections. 

Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Cochiti Pueblo) supervises live-client projects concerned with tribal governance and justice systems, ethics, cultural resource protection, voting, child welfare, and more. She received her undergraduate degree at Colorado College and her law degree from UCLA School of Law. Previously, van Schilfgaarde served as the Tribal Law Specialist at the Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) in West Hollywood, CA. At TLPI, she worked with over 80 tribal nations and coordinated training and technical assistance at tribal courts, focusing primarily on Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, restorative justice, tribal court infrastructure, and federal Indian law. 

John Waight is the coordinator for Arts Law Centre of Australia’s Artists in the Black program. He has extensive experience in the Indigenous visual arts industry and has worked at a diverse range of institutions, including: the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory; Maningrida Arts and Culture; the Australian National Maritime Museum; Albion Health Centre, where he was Aboriginal health education officer; and, most recently, on the Faculty of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Waight is currently completing his Masters of Curating and Cultural leadership degree at the UNSW.

Share the Mic
We at the Fowler believe in the civic duty of museums to give forum to multiple points of view. This series features thought leaders—artists, activists, and allies—who are guiding us along the arc of justice.

Image credit: Jennifer Wurrkidj (b. 1973) of Bábbarra Women’s Centre, Kunronj (Freshwater story), designed 2007, printed 2018; screen print; three stencils, linen and ink; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X2018.15.8; Museum purchase with Fowler Textile Council funds



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