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History and memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa

In Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa indigenous peoples were displaced, marginalised and sometimes subjected to attempted genocide through the colonial process. This book is a collection of essays that focuses on the ways the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the heterogeneous white colonial communities has been obscured, narrated and embodied in public culture. The essays and artwork in this book insist that an understanding of the political and cultural institutions and practices which shaped settler-colonial societies in the past can provide important insights into how this legacy of unequal rights can be contested in the present. The essays in the first part of the book focus on colonial administrative structures and their intersection with the emergence of settler civil society in terms of welfare policy, regional colonial administration, and labour unions. The second section focuses on the struggles over the representation of national histories through the analyses of key cultural institutions and monuments, both historically and in terms of contemporary strategies. The third section provides comparative instances of historical and contemporary challenges to the colonial legacy from indigenous and migrant communities. The final section of the book explores some of the different voices and strategies for articulating the complexities of lived experience in transforming societies with a history of settler colonialism.

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Memory and history in settler colonialism

analyse the idea of ‘the frontier’ in settler colonialism. 1 Other collections similarly preoccupied with another central myth associated with settler colonialism have focused on the significance of the land and the landscape as a determinant in the formation of white settler identities, 2 and this has led to research critically assessing the history of land management and ecology in colonial societies. 3 These more recent studies have concentrated primarily on Australian case studies and comparative analysis has been limited to one other

in Rethinking settler colonialism
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Testimony, memoir and the work of reconciliation

restitution in the courts and legislatures (such as land rights and financial payments for damages and restitution). This chapter is concerned with the personal dimensions of the reconciliation movement and has a specific interest in the ways that testimony and memoir have become vehicles for the individual and personal experiences of reconciliation in a process of interracial dialogue. These autobiographical engagements have been one of the most visible engagements with the legacies of settler colonialism in Canada and Australia in the

in Rethinking settler colonialism
Anthony Martin Fernando and Australian Aboriginal rights in transnational context

perhaps first among the Aboriginal people personally engaged in this transnational critique of the Empire. As he confronted authorities with his account of life as an Aboriginal British Australian, Fernando’s protest disturbed – as it continues to do – Australian settler colonialism’s claim to historical insularity from overseas criticism, 9 most particularly that voiced by indigenous Australians. According to Fernando’s testimony, he was born in Woolloomooloo on 6 April 1864. 10 An important gathering place for a

in Rethinking settler colonialism
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Facing history
in Rethinking settler colonialism
Settler pasts and racial identities in the Garment Workers’ Union, 1938-52

This chapter examines two commemorative festivals in which Garment Workers' Union, a trade union based in the South African industrial land, Witwatersrand, members were invited to participate. First one is the 1938 centenary festival which commemorated the movement of farmers from the coastal plains to the highveld, cast as an odyssey of the pre-ordained founding of the 'Afrikaner nation' and labelled the 'Great Trek'. The second one is the 1952 tercentenary festival which transformed the 1652 arrival at the Cape of Jan van Riebeeck, a commander of the Dutch East India Company. Van Riebeeck came with the task of setting up a revictualling station, into the originating moment of European settlement and South African history. The chapter focuses on the latter occasion, in which the 'white race' was conceived of as the exclusive and inclusive South African nation and Van Riebeeck proclaimed as the initiator of the policy of apartheid.

in Rethinking settler colonialism
Representations of ‘Bushmen’ of the Northern Cape, 1880–1900

John Scott presided over the Baster settlement established in Gordonia, north of the Orange, to defend the frontier and act as a buffer for the Cape Colony against further attacks from the interior. Among his duties was dealing with the 'Bushmen', inhabitants of the area. In his book The Birth of the Museum, Tony Bennett takes issue with Douglas Crimp for describing the museum as another Foucaultian 'institution of confinement'. While the museum and the prison are both articulations of power and knowledge relations, the museum, he insists, is an institution not of confinement but of exhibition. The chapter illustrates how the mind of colonial officials like Scott, the new form of social control of the 'Bushmen' through subjection to colonial law and imprisonment was bound up with viewing them as subjects of scientific investigation.

in Rethinking settler colonialism
A Maori tribal response to Te Papa: the Museum of New Zealand

This chapter talks about Tomairangi Kameta, who is a very recent ancestor of Ngati Whakaue, Te Arawa. In 1990 he and other elders assisted the author in gaining the position of curator at the local government-run Rotorua Museum, a museum rich in Te Arawa taonga. Taonga also assist elders in guiding the recently departed back to Maori spiritual homeland while, at the same time, reminding the living of the kin group connections with each other and with their surrounding ancestral landscape. The taonga on display in the Rotorua Museum are no different from the taonga that find on marae, in elders' homes or exhibited in the many museums around the world, including Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. The alchemy of the taonga is still accessible if and when they are performed on marae under the ancestral authority of the people who belong to the land: the tangata whenua.

in Rethinking settler colonialism
Unsettled identities, unstable monuments

From 1901 to 1912 the Scottish-born John Logan Campbell, a pioneer European settler of Auckland, orchestrated or initiated a series of events and constructions. The first European settlers in Auckland in the 1840s-1850s needed Maori support and goodwill, for provisions and labour, as a market for its merchants in a period when the European population was small. The Maori population of Auckland remained small and marginal until the 1950s and 1960s. With major migration of rural Maori to the cities beginning after the Second World War, the demographics of Auckland have radically altered. It is now the largest Polynesian city in the world, with Maori again an assertive and vital presence. In 1906 Campbell had advocated that obelisk 'dedicated to the great Maori race' when Maori presence in Auckland was peripheral in terms of institutional power, social and economic well-being and population size, at a low ebb.

in Rethinking settler colonialism
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De-celebrating the Canadian nation, de-colonising the Canadian museum, 1967-92

Show times are moments when museums organise comprehensive and definitive exhibitions in connection with a major event in the life of the community. This chapter looks at four exhibitions of indigenous art, between 1967 and 1992, organised by close collaboration with Canada's national museums. The series begins with The Indians of Canada Pavilion organised for Montreal's Expo '67 in Canada's centennial year. The second show, The Spirit Sings, was organised for the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988. The final two, Indigena and Land, Spirit, Power, were mounted in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Each of the shows marked an event that drew national and international attention. Each became a site of indigenous intervention into standard narratives of Canadian history, while being exploited by indigenous artists to focus public attention on contemporary issues such as land claims, sovereignty and social problems.

in Rethinking settler colonialism