Running amok or just sleeping rough? Long-grass camping and the politics of care in northern Australia

Daniel Fisher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, I analyze efforts to remove Aboriginal people from town camps and public parks in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory. In early 2003, the territory government enjoined the corporate representative of Darwin's traditional owners to assert their prior title, thereby policing and reimagining public space by reference to this Aboriginal corporate custody. Public discourse, as reflected in news accounts, framed this move as engendering conflict, pitting one Aboriginal "mob" (owners) against another (campers), dividing those amenable to corporate recognition from those who more starkly confronted settler Australian sensibilities and suburban development. Here I explore forms of intra-Aboriginal relationship that these tabloid accounts ignored and describe how such relationships have mediated, if not mitigated, paradoxical features of Australian neoliberal governmentality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-186
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Indigenous Australia
  • Aboriginal homelessness
  • anthropology of the state
  • neoliberal governmentality
  • citizenship and sovereignty

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