UNLEARNING FOR THE COMMONS

I am a guest on the unceded land of the Lenape Hopkings, Merrick, Canarsie, Rockaway, Matinecock  and Haudenosaunee people in Manahatta and Turtle Island.

I acknowledging the land, the people and their Nations, their ancestors, as well as future generations of all Native American Nations. As a Swiss citizen, I also acknowledge that the European ancestors created their wealth upon exclusions and erasures of the Native Americans. My family stayed in Switzerland since the 16th century, only three members of the extended family left for the New World in the 19th century and left behind a starving family, a mother and seven children.

 

My recognition demonstrates a commitment to engage in the process of decolonization, working to dismantle the lingering legacies and extractive, predatory practices of settler colonialism and and genocide. I am creating a reciprocal ally relationship and dialogue in Manahatta for the future generations and mother earth in the era of climate change. 

 

Dorothée Elisa Baumann - December 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PhD candidate at Walter Benjamin Kolleg/SINTA, Faculty of Humanities, University of Bern Switzerland. Academic supervisors: Professor Dr. Tobias Haller, Social Anthropology, and Professor Dr. Andi Schoon, co-director of Institute Y, Fine Art School Bern and Professor Dr. Peter Hitchcock Graduate Center CUNY, New York City. 

I thank my supervisors for their guidance in the academic context and giving me this chance for this journey, space for exchange and reflection.

I thank also Prof. Michaela Schäuble for her support in the past.

I thank the Swiss National Research Foundation SNF (Doc.Mobility) and the University of Bern, Switzerland (2019 - 2021)

for the financial support of this project.

I am also very grateful to the Camera Museum Vevey (Switzerland) and George Eastman Museum Rochester New York (USA) especially to the curator team and assistants of the archives for giving me access to their collection, archival materiaand their open welcoming culture, their passion and many hours of personal exchange. 

 I also thank to all the interviewees who took the time to engage with my research. I am greatful for your valuable perspectives

in co-shaping and co-promoting this project. 

A special thank you goes to my spouse Fred, my family and dear friends included my cat Yaya who support me during this project. 

The first insights of my first research trip to New York City and Rochester (October 2019 until May 2020) brought relevant results for the continuation of this work in summer 2021.

 

I will tread the land of the Lenape in summer  2021 in order to continue.

My first action will be a Land Acknowledgement Act in Manhattan for the Lenni Lenape and  their land  as well as a Land Acknowledgement Act for the land of Seneca and their people in Rochester New York by an artistic gesture in public space. 

My artistic position in this context of scientific shared-research. I do not seek for more knowledge nor the idea of producing knowledge. Rather I am searching to listen carefully, follow and engage with the other in a sincere way and give back what I receive. I will recognize the knowledge I receive and will transcribe it sincerely with respect. I will critically reflect my own ideologies, cultural background and its history and take a humble attitude of Unlearning my culture and engaging in the Unknown. I accept the semiotics of the unknown, respect the narratives and tools of the others humans and also the (organic) non-humans and life itself. 

This work will only be published end of 2024 because I am in the middle of this long-term experience. But I am happy to exchange and share some insights with you, so please contact me. Please find some information about the start of my scientific and artistic PHD research work and dissertation here.




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