UNLEARNING FOR THE COMMONS
I am a guest on the unceded land of the Lenape, Merrick, Canarsie, Rockaway, Matinecock
and Haudenosaunee people in New York City.
I acknowledging the community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations of all native communities. I also acknowledge that the European ancestors created their wealth upon exclusions and erasures of the Indigenous peoples. My recognition demonstrates a commitment to engage in the process of working to dismantle the lingering legacies of settler colonialism (genocide).
Dorothée Elisa Baumann - February 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 material and 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 big thank you to my dear friends and proofreaders who support me during this writing process.
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 2022 because I am in the middle of this long-term experience. But I am happy to exchange and share my insights with you, so please contact me. Please find some information about the start of my scientific PHD research work here.