Climate change and non-Indigenous belonging in postcolonial Australia
Potter, Emily 2013, Climate change and non-Indigenous belonging in postcolonial Australia, Continuum, vol. 27, no. 1, Special Issue: Cultural Reorientations and Comparative Colonialities, pp. 30-40, doi: 10.1080/10304312.2013.737197.
Special Issue: Cultural Reorientations and Comparative Colonialities
Place of publication
The constitution of climate change as an ‘emergency’ invites an appeal to sovereign power that is troubling in the context of Australia’s colonial history. Climate change is an unsettling and dispossessing force that, while unprecedented in many ways, can be situated among a series of environmental and social crises that have shaped a discourse of anxious or insecure non-Indigenous belonging in this country. This discourse seeks to render non-Indigenous Australian place as secure and absolute, and understands environmental change as a threat to this goal. This threat appeals to an emergency framing, and in turn to a reassertion, in line with the insights of Agamben, of an exclusive sovereignty that rehearses the foundational dispossessions of colonization. At the same time, climate change is initiating new ways of conceptualizing human relations with place that challenge the value of sovereign status. It enacts realities that refuse a singular emergency and instead generate community from a reorientation of places, times and more-than-human relations. Thought in this way as a creative force that is shaping communities and environments, climate change becomes a source of critical insight for the possibilities of a decolonized future.
Field of Research
200206 Globalisation and Culture
Socio Economic Objective
970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
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