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Welcome to country: acknowledgement, belonging and white anti-racism

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-15, 20:50 authored by Emma KowalEmma Kowal
The Welcome to Country (WTC) ceremony and its twin, the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners, have become prominent anti-racist rituals in the post-settler society of Australia. These rituals are rich in meaning. They are simultaneously emblems of colonisation and dispossession; of recognition and reconciliation; and a periodic focus of political posturing. This article analyses the multiple meanings of WTC ceremonies. In particular, I explore the politics of belonging elicited by WTC and Acknowledgement rituals. Drawing on ethnography of non-Indigenous people who work in Indigenous affairs, I argue that widespread enjoyment of these rituals among White anti-racists is explained because they paradoxically experience belonging through a sense of not belonging.

History

Journal

Cultural studies review

Volume

21

Pagination

173-204

Location

Sydney, N.S.W.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1446-8123

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Emma Kowal

Issue

2

Publisher

UTSePress