The Resource Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism

Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism

Label
Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism
Title
Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
[Abstract from AIATSIS Research - Emma Kowal] The Welcome to Country ceremony and its twin, Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners, have become prominent anti-racist rituals in the Australian settler colony. These rituals are rich in meaning: they are simultaneously symbols of colonisation and dispossession; of recognition and reconciliation; and a periodic focus of political posturing. This paper analyses the multiple meanings of WTC ceremonies, from national psychic bandaid to individual political statement to continuous Aboriginal tradition. In particular, I explore the politics of belonging elicited by WTC and Acknowledgement rituals. Welcome to Country ceremonies have been criticised by conservatives because they make them feel unwelcome. They experience them as a challenge to their (white) identities. In contrast, those who support the ceremonies describe them as deeply moving. Drawing on ethnography of non-indigenous people who work in Indigenous affairs, I argue that widespread enjoyment of these rituals among white anti-racists is explained because they paradoxically experience belonging through a sense of not belonging. Taking a distinct approach I call 'reflexive anti-racism', I suggest that WTC and Acknowledgement rituals can usefully be thought of as a device to encourage reflection on belonging. This approach would acknowledge the challenge to white belonging posed by WTC rituals and keenly felt by conservative Australians. It would suggest a more productive response to conservative attacks that has the potential to improve understanding between progressives and conservatives, as well as between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians
Member of
Date time place
Filmed in Canberra, A.C.T., 2011
Information about documentation
Abstract
PerformerNote
Emma Kowal
Series statement
AIATSIS_109 ; V09319_1-13
Label
Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism
Link
http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/using-collection/ordering-collection-items
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Not auditioned
  • The views and opinions expressed by speakers during the AIATSIS Seminar Series do not necessarily reflect those of AIATSIS, and the Institute accepts no responsibility for them
Governing access note
Conditions apply
Immediate source of acquisition
Kate Smith;
Note
Release form
Stock number
AIATSIS_001
Label
Welcome to Country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism
Link
http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/using-collection/ordering-collection-items
Publication
Note
  • Not auditioned
  • The views and opinions expressed by speakers during the AIATSIS Seminar Series do not necessarily reflect those of AIATSIS, and the Institute accepts no responsibility for them
Governing access note
Conditions apply
Immediate source of acquisition
Kate Smith;
Note
Release form
Stock number
AIATSIS_001

Library Locations

    • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)Borrow it
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      -35.292556 149.118617
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