Disrupting the colonial narrative

Reading, reckoning and reimagining

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  • Published 20220428
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-71-9
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

The many Indigenous nations of the globe have always been storytellers, and our stories tell of an animate reality in which everything lives and everything connects. The arrival of colonisers in Indigenous homelands engulfed us in cycles of cataclysmic violence that sought to annihilate our ways of being, knowing and doing. But Indigenous peoples and cultures survived the colonial apocalypse. We are storytellers still.
Ambelin Kwaymullina

ONE OF THE central tenets of the colonial project is the way control is used to maintain a narrative of dominance, white superiority and so-called truth. This control over narrative manifests in various ways, each of them as violent as the other, but it is purposeful in its effect and reach. The misrepresentation of Aboriginal people within colonial narratives enabled the justification of the myth that Australia was terra nullius – unoccupied land – and the subsequent violent dispossession of the continent’s First Nations. Within this colonial mythscape (a term coined by author Jeanine Leane) resides the fallacy of the ‘Aboriginal problem’ and the characterisation of Aboriginal people as ‘savages’ and ‘uncivilised’. As one example, this colonial mythology propagated (and continues to propagate) the notion of the Aboriginal parent as unfit – the consequence of which is the widespread and inter­generational removal of Aboriginal children from Aboriginal families, an act of genocide ­co-ordinated under the guise of protection and benevolence. The uncanny settler presumption is that settlers know the Aborigine more than the Aborigine knows themselves.

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About the author

Merinda Dutton

Merinda Dutton is a Gumbaynggirr and Barkindi woman, co-founder of the Instagram account @blackfulla_bookclub, an emerging writer and a lawyer by day.

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