SAM Seminar: Frontline Communities and Extractivism: Grassroots resistance to natural resource extraction

When:26 Mar 2019, 3:30pm - 5pm
Venue:Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building
Who:Dorothy Kidd (University of San Francisco), Tanya Notley (WSU), James Goodman (UTS), Jason de Santolo (UTS), chaired by Valentina Baú (UNSW)


Frontline Communities and Extractivism: Grassroots resistance to natural resource extraction

This panel will address the ways that Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, environmental organisations, and allied groups are protecting their eco-systems, and long-standing social, political and economic relations within them. In regions around the world, communities are using a wide variety of legal and communications strategies to resist the incursions of extractivist industries (mining, oil and natural gas, forestry, and associated mega-infrastructure projects such as pipelines, highways, hydro-electric dams) sponsored by transnational corporations and national governments. However, more than just saying “No,” many communities have developed sophisticated practices to articulate and circulate very different sets of values, knowledges of their ecologies, and collective imaginaries and identities. The panel will compare some of these strategies from the Americas, Southeast Asia and Australia, such as national and international legal protocols including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous (UNDRIP) and the right to free, prior and informed consent; court challenges; face-to-face communications and education in local assemblies and encampments, and mobilisations via web-circulated video and social media.


dorothy kiddProfessor Dorothy Kidd, University of San Francisco

After working in grassroots communications, including Indigenous broadcasting, for many years, Dorothy Kidd completed her PhD in Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver Canada. Her current research agenda concerns how communities are responding to extractivism. She teaches media studies at the University of San Francisco in the U.S.



James goodmanProfessor James Goodman, Climate Justice Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

James Goodman conducts research into global politics, socio-cultural change and climate justice. He is an Associate Professor in Social and Political Sciences at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS (FASS) where he has been based since 1996. He draws from a disciplinary background in political sociology, international relations, political economy and political geography, and has led several large collaborative research projects, publishing five authored or co-authored books, seven edited or coedited books, and supervising 19 doctoral students, mainly in the area of NGOs and international politics. He coordinates subjects on politics and ideologies and on climate justice and climate policy.


Tanya Notley

Dr Tanya Notley, Institute for Culture and Society and School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University

Tanya Notley has 15 years of experience as a researcher and media practitioner working on communication initiatives focused on social and environmental justice. Tanya is currently working on an Australian Research Council funded project that examines the politics of data centres in relation to labour, governance and the environment (with Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter) as well as a project focused on young Australians, news and democracy, funded by the Museum of Australian Democracy and Google Australia (with Michael Dezuanni). She also continues to collaborate with a number of human rights and social justice organisations to design communication initiatives for social impact including Tactical Technology Collective (Berlin) and Live & Learn (Vanuatu). Tanya holds a Visiting Senior Research Fellow position at the School of Arts & Humanities, Kings College London where she collaborates with Professor Anna Reading to examine the environmental impact of digital memory and digital infrastructures.

Jason de santolo

Associate Professor Jason de Santolo, School of Design (DAB), University of Technology Sydney

Dr Jason De Santolo (Garrwa and Barunggam) is a researcher, creative producer and father committed to forging a sustainable world for future generations through transformative research strategies, storytelling and practices of renewal. Born in Larrakia homelands - Darwin, he moved to Aoteaoroa, New Zealand, at an early age and studied treaty and international environmental law. His unique research practice integrates video, creative practice and renewal strategies through a Garrwa driven decolonising research paradigm. In 2014 he received a UTS Research Excellence Scholarship and graduated in 2018 with a creative doctorate that explores the renewal of song traditions through his passion for filmmaking and collective aspirations for self-determination. His latest documentary, Warburdar Bununu (Water Shield), explores water contamination in Borroloola, Northern Territories, and is set to be released by Browncabs in 2019.


The discussion will be moderated by Dr Valentina Baú from UNSW School of the Arts & Media.



SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. No need to book, all welcome.

Coming next:
Week 8 - Tuesday 9 April
'Conceptual' approaches across Visual arts and Dance since the 1960s
Erin Brannigan, UNSW

Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, John Attridge –

Finding us
Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor.

More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab

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