Current Issue

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Approach to Intellectual Property: Industry Insight into the Development of Indigenous Cultural Protocols

Gretchen M. STOLTE, Lynelle FLINDERS, Cheryl CREED, and Robert Tommy PAU
IJCCI volume 2, issue 3, July 2015

This essay is a collaboration of four Indigenous researchers all tackling the issues of cultural protocols and intellectual property (IP) in Australia’s contemporary Indigenous arts industry. Indigenous IP in Australia is highly topical as it involves both the art world and definitions of Indigenous cultural agency as well. This essay offers three perspectives on Indigenous cultural and intellectual property within far North Queensland, all reflecting the historical conflict between black concepts of being and white structures of art production. Misunderstandings of one concept lead to misunderstandings of the other. The artists argue that artistic styles belong to specific regions and reflect local forms of artistic production. They also contend that the depiction of Indigenous people has specific cultural protocols that must be adhered to, and that there are cultural protocols that are continuously misunderstood. Together, these authors argue for greater awareness of these issues within Indigenous Australian artistic studies.

Keywords: Indigenous IP, Aboriginal art, Torres Strait Islander art, Cultural protocols


Category: Glocal Perspective