ResourceThe legacy of indentured labour

Sancintya Mohini Simpson & Imelda Miller

The legacy of indentured labour

5 March 2020

IMA Belltower artist Sancintya Mohini Simpson is joined in conversation with historian and curator Imelda Miller, bringing to fore the colonial practice of forced and indentured labour and tracing its impacts to the present day.

Simpson and Miller use their own archival research practices and exhibition-making as a tool to bring their ancestral stories to light and act as a sites of acknowledgement, commemoration, and healing.

The discussion explores the often-absented stories of ‘blackbirding’ South Sea Islander communities—a practice of kidnapping and forced labour on sugar cane farms in Australia—and the parallel history of Indian indentured labour forced to work in South African sugar cane farms. Simpson and Miller draw these stories into the complicated narrative of colonialism and contemporary society.