Raphael Lemkin in Remote Australia: The Logic of Cultural Genocide and Homelands

Altman, Jon 2018, Raphael Lemkin in Remote Australia: The Logic of Cultural Genocide and Homelands, Oceania, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 336-359, doi: 10.1002/ocea.5204.

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Title Raphael Lemkin in Remote Australia: The Logic of Cultural Genocide and Homelands
Author(s) Altman, Jon
Journal name Oceania
Volume number 88
Issue number 3
Start page 336
End page 359
Total pages 24
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-11
ISSN 0029-8077
Keyword(s) Indigenous Australia
cultural genocide
Raphael Lemkin
hunter-gatherer lifeways
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Summary © 2018 Oceania Publications In the 1970s, Aboriginal people in remote Australia took decisive steps to decentralize from government settlements and missions to live and make a living on their ancestral lands at places that have become known as homelands. Over time, this migration garnered some state support and saw the emergence of new facilitating institutions. But in the last decade homeland living has been discursively demeaned by politicians, and policies have been put in place to undermine the possibility of residing and making a livelihood in these smallest, most remote places mainly located on Indigenous-titled lands. As Indigenous territorial rights expand, the state looks to extinguish possibilities for current and future generations to utilize the land and its resources for livelihood. In this article, I draw on evidence from political discourse, policy documents and programme design and implementation to outline this state project to eliminate a contemporary lifeway. I provide ethnographic evidence from work with Kuninjku people in Arnhem Land that documents this destruction. I engage with the work of Raphael Lemkin to document and theorize the techniques being deployed in terms of the logic of cultural genocide. I end by asking what homelands people might do to push back and what role anthropologists might play in such a process.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/ocea.5204
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 16 Studies in Human Society
21 History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30118939

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