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De-Colonizing Amnesia: Refusing False Consciousness

conference contribution
posted on 2016-02-24, 00:00 authored by Brian Martin
When considering research discourses that pertain to Indigenous knowledges there is a constant reference to the positioning of the researcher in terms of their own cultural background and cultural understandings. This, of course, is related to the empowerment and importance of Indigenous research by Indigenous voices. This is particularly important within the context of Australia in relation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.
My analysis identifies and defines how the notion of ideology contributes to an amnesiac condition in Australia, one that underlines understandings of culture. It is vital to elaborate that the premise of amnesia is predicated on ideology itself. This has wider implications for the many cultures that have experienced the act of colonisation. The aim of this paper is to propose and elaborate a way of thinking about amnesia as premised on ideology. In order to do so, it is necessary to unravel and critique western notions of ideology especially those based on Louis Althusser’s elaboration of ideology as being based on an imaginary condition of existence (Althusser 1971). I have selected an Althusserian ideology in order to conduct a comparative analysis within an Indigenous framework. In this context, Althusserian ideology is an exemplar of representationalist thinking that continues to be dominant and endemic in western representationalist thinking. By identifying this gap, I provide an alternative framework of ideology based on the “real” and integrated conditions of existence that operate in an Indigenous ideology and culture and its ritualised practices. It is this alternative framework that can provide a new way of looking and thinking about how ideology can be reconfigured in their relationship with culture. It is here that relationality prevails. My argument operates within this space. It is within this space that I emphasise the importance of Land (“Country”) in order to demonstrate a “real” alternative ideology that is not based on the imaginary.



International Conference on Narrativising Indigeneity : Looking to the Future


Centurian University


Centurion University India

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E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed

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2016, The Author

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De-Colonizing Amnesia: Refusing False Consciousness

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