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Enigmas of communication
Paul Carter

The Native Informant , a work for radio made in 1993, is discussed in Amplifications ; the script is published in Absolute Rhythm . The name is promising but what is its relevance to a migrant ethnography? The immediate circumstances of its making are easily told – I came across tape recordings made in 1965–1966 which, when transcribed, proved to contain schoolboy recitations of ancient Greek verbs and French conversation. No doubt this work served to articulate a migrant persona: ‘As a

in Translations, an autoethnography
Migration, colonial Australia and the creative encounter
Author:

Translations is a personal history written at the intersection of colonial anthropology, creative practice and migrant ethnography. Renowned postcolonial scholar, public artist and radio maker, UK-born Paul Carter documents and discusses a prodigiously varied and original trajectory of writing, sound installation and public space dramaturgy produced in Australia to present the phenomenon of contemporary migration in an entirely new light. Rejecting linear conceptualisations of migrant space–time, Carter describes a distinctively migrant psychic topology, turbulent, vortical and opportunistic. He shows that the experience of self-becoming at that place mediated through a creative practice that places the enigma of communication at the heart of its praxis produces a coherent critique of colonial regimes still dominant in discourses of belonging. One expression of this is a radical reappraisal of the ‘mirror state’ relationship between England and Australia, whose structurally symmetrical histories of land theft and internal colonisation repress the appearance of new subjects and subject relations. Another is to embrace the precarity of the stranger–host relationship shaping migrant destiny, to break down art’s aesthetic conventions and elide creative practice with the poetics (and politics) of social production – what Carter calls ‘dirty art’. Carter tackles the argument that immigrants to Australia recapitulate the original invasion. Reflecting on collaborations with Aboriginal artists, he frames an argument for navigating incommensurable realities that profoundly reframes the discourse on sovereignty. Translations is a passionately eloquent argument for reframing borders as crossing-places: framing less murderous exchange rates, symbolic literacy, creative courage and, above all, the emergence of a resilient migrant poetics will be essential.

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Parables of return
Paul Carter

they are the scriptural native informants, this book is their translation. I annotated Gorz's book for resemblances between his existential ‘hell’ and the crisis of the Aboriginal Australian who, forced to speak, ‘recognises a will he has never actually produced, because, from the fact that this event happens to me, it becomes me’. 28 But I also recognised myself in his traitor: ‘Because I belong nowhere, to no group, to no enterprise, because I am exiled from all groups and enterprises, there is

in Translations, an autoethnography
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, The Sound In-Between, Voice, Space, Performance, Sydney: UNSW Press/New Endeavour Press, 1992, 93–114. Radio feature, 1989. First broadcast: ‘Surface Tension’, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, FM-Radio, 9 October 1989 . The Native Informant, 1993. Reference: Carter, Absolute Rhythm, 131–148 . Underworlds of Jean du Chas, 1998. Reference: Carter, Absolute Rhythm, 207–236 . Cooee Song (with Christopher Williams), 2020. Exhibition: Site & Sound: Sonic Art as Ecological Practice

in Translations, an autoethnography
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Nadia Kiwan

the ‘native informant’, as described by Adam Shatz (2003). Malek Chebel has also been criticised for his promotion of un islam des Lumières (along with Bidar and Meddeb) by the political scientist Vincent Geisser (2008), who argued in an article published on Oumma.com that Islam ‘light’ is akin to a consumer product that is flying off the shelves: On les entend, on les voit et on les lit partout:  à la radio, à la télévision, dans les journaux et dans les conférences de standing. Leurs livres se vendent à des milliers d’exemplaires dans les rayons des supermarchés

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
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Broken relations, migrant destiny
Paul Carter

concealed in his name: Volentieri or, as any migrant quickly learns to say, Yes, willingly, volontariamente , as they accede to whatever task, mask or origin is assigned them. The nation's native informant, I was saying back what the nationalists longed to hear. Pretending to be someone else, I felt perhaps at home. As the name suggested, authenticity was to be pidginised, identity a function of echoic mimicry. Volentieri evoked the migrant's utopian hopefulness and metaphysical scepticism. Can fictions like this make a dent in what Jennifer Rutherford calls ‘the

in Translations, an autoethnography
François Burgat

another for all that. The press, in France especially, only very rarely helped to bridge this formidable chasm of incomprehension. Rather, it did quite the opposite. It widened it day after day, in the dailies and the magazines both. There too, the aggressive “ultra-secularism” of Algeria’s small minority of “eradicators” of the Other is the root of many misunderstandings—eradicators whom France deigns to acknowledge as its sole legitimate informants. The native informant—better yet, the native informant woman—is she who, armed with the legitimacy conferred upon her by

in Understanding Political Islam
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The endless arrival
Paul Carter

shuffling of the convicts. But it is noticeable that the rhythm of progress internalises that earlier shackling as even free motion will, like free speech, exercise a discreet self-censorship, the dullness of colonial life doubled in the dull tread. When Arabanoo of the local Eora people was kidnapped to serve as a native informant, translator and go-between, he lived, First Fleet chronicler John Hunter reports, for some time after his arrival at the governor's house, ornamented with

in Translations, an autoethnography
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Migrant poetics
Paul Carter

’. 7 But the corollory of this observation is equally true: there are as many ‘nobodies’ as there are individuals who fail to recognise us. When at the recently established Ramahyuck mission (on the shores of Lake Wellington, Gippsland, Victoria) the Moravian missionary, Friedrich August Hagenauer, asked his native informants about local Aboriginal groups, he learnt that they called the Bushy Park mob ‘nobodies or nothings’. Relating this, Sue Caroline Wesson explains, ‘The greatest insult that one Aboriginal person could bestow upon another

in Translations, an autoethnography
Dolores Tierney

who relate their experiences, usually to a writer, journalist or ethnographer (Shea, 1993 : 139). Although Fernández is not underprivileged, his ethnic status and the way Tuñón presents herself as his vocera (spokesperson) sets up unequal power relations between herself and Fernández. As a result she appears as the writer/journalist (anthropologist) and he the ‘native informant.’ However, the optimism and faith of the

in Emilio Fernández