The politics of ontology and ontological politics

S. Wright*, S. Suchet-Pearson, K. Lloyd, L. Burarrwanga, R. Ganambarr, M. Ganambarr-Stubbs, B. Ganambarr, D. Maymuru

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


There is a politics to what ontologies are recognized as existing; what pasts, presents and futures are made real; what configurations of place, time and being are validated; and what ethics underpin the reality of our connections with and as the world. And there is a powerful violence associated with their dismissal. In responding to Simon and Randalls’ discussion of the ontological politics of resilience, we consider ontological politics in an Indigenous context. We do this as an Indigenous–non-Indigenous, human–more-than-human collective, from, and as, Bawaka, an Indigenous Australian homeland in northern Australia. We offer an ontography of Bawaka and, in so doing, attend to the layers of lirrwi (charcoal) in the sand to recognize what lirrwi can tell us about being, and politics, in a Country that has always co-become with Yolŋu people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalDialogues in Human Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • co-becoming
  • Country
  • Indigenous knowledges
  • more-than-human
  • northeast Arnhem Land
  • ontological politics
  • ontography


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