This interview of Suvendrini Perera and Joseph Pugliese is meant as a complement to the conversation with Jan Turner in our 44th issue (Nov-Dec 2022), The Desert. Entitled “The Impact of a Life (and a Death): Colonial Encounters and Aboriginal Desert Practices,” this conversation revolves around the life and death of Aboriginal leader and artist Mr. Ward, whose death was investigated by the project founded by Suvendrini and Joseph: Deathscapes. Together we discuss the various methodologies they use in this project that documents Indigenous and migrant deaths in detention by settler states (in particular Australia), as well as the crucial need to practice these investigations in the utmost respect of the grief of those who lost a relative or a community member.
Suvendrini Perera is John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Curtin University, Australia. Joseph Pugliese is Professor of Cultural Studies, Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Languages and Literature, Macquarie University. Together, they founded Deathscapes, and they’re the editors of the book Mapping Deathscapes : Digital Geographies of Racial and Border Violence (Routledge, 2021).