Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Racialised bodies encounter the city: 'long grassers' and asylum seekers in Darwin

journal contribution
posted on 2013-08-01, 00:00 authored by Michele Lobo
The visibility of bodies of colour in public space can engender responses of anxiety, insecurity and discomfort in cities with white majority cultures. Such embodied responses that privilege the invisibility of whiteness have effects if they mark Aboriginal people and asylum seekers who arrive by boat as ‘out of place’ in public spaces of Australian cities. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Darwin, I argue, however, that such white spaces are interrupted by habits of touch, multi-sensory events that contribute to fleshy moments of belonging for these racialised bodies that experience dispossession and displacement. Such belonging emerges from the intertwining fleshiness of bodies in a world where we affect and are affected by other bodies and things.

The paper explores two events held in public spaces of suburban Darwin, a weekly painting activity at a beach reserve that engages ‘Long Grassers’, Aboriginal people who live in open spaces, and a cooking session at a community centre that welcomes asylum-seeker families from a detention centre. Felix Ravaisson's philosophy of habit as virtue and spontaneous practice is a starting point for thinking about how haptic knowledges can provide a nuanced understanding of belonging, encounter and ethical engagement in a racially diverse white settler city.

History

Journal

Journal of intercultural studies

Volume

34

Issue

4

Pagination

454 - 465

Publisher

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Location

London, England

ISSN

0725-6868

eISSN

1469-9540

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Taylor & Francis

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC