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Introduction : making Indigenous place in the Australian city

journal contribution
posted on 2012-06-01, 00:00 authored by Emily PotterEmily Potter
This introductory essay situates this special issue's concerns in the context of Indigenous cultural centre design in settler-colonial Australia. Given the very small number of Indigenous architects in Australia, architectural facilities for Indigenous communities are routinely designed by non-indigenous architects. The implications of this are significant. Given the often complex social, historical and political ambitions that are invested in the construction of Indigenous cultural centres, and their frequent intention to represent a broad Indigenous constituency, can non-indigenous architectural and spatial practice ever realize these? As a way into this question, the essay surveys postcolonial and architectural scholarship that explores the spatialization of setter-colonial politics and the distinct place-making traditions of Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. The making of place in the Australian city is an ongoing force of conflict, assertion, exclusion and forgetting, but it is also central to the realization of a possible post-colonial state in which no one ‘centre’ can ever stabilize and resolve questions of legitimacy and power. Instead, such a centre might hold these questions in tension and as questions in common, which would mean a new foundation for the making of place.

History

Journal

Postcolonial studies

Volume

15

Season

Special Issue : Making Indigenous place in the Australian city

Pagination

131-142

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1368-8790

eISSN

1466-1888

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Taylor & Francis

Issue

2

Publisher

Routledge