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Monumental Disruptions

Aboriginal people and colonial commemorations in so-called Australia
Bronwyn Carlson and Terri Farrelly

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Available now to pre-order, with delivery expected after the release on 20 February 2023. What is the place of Australia’s colonial memorials in today’s society? Do we remove, destroy or amend? Mon...

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Available now to pre-order, with delivery expected after the release on 20 February 2023.

What is the place of Australia’s colonial memorials in today’s society? Do we remove, destroy or amend? Monumental Disruptions investigates how these memorials have been viewed, and are viewed, by First Nations people to find a way forward.

In June 2020, on the heels of Australia’s James Cook anniversary commemorations and statue-toppling Black Lives Matter protests in the USA, dozens of police were sent to guard a statue of Cook in Hyde Park, Sydney. Despite the police presence, two women spraypainted ‘sovereignty never ceded’ across the statue.

Scenes like this are being repeated around the world as societies reassess memorials that no longer reflect today’s values. Should they be removed, destroyed or amended? Monumental Disruptions looks for answers. It investigates why commemorations were erected, their meaning for Aboriginal people in Australia, both then and now, and it compares Australia’s experience with that overseas.

Those who question colonial commemorations have been called ‘UnAustralian’; but, in Australia, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities are working together to forge new ways to mark the past. This timely book is essential reading for anyone interested in how a society commemorates and acknowledges its complex history.

Production details
  • Paperback
  • 368 pp (including 16 pp of colour)
  • Released 20 February 2023
  • ISBN 9780855751159
  • ISBN 9780855751197 (ePub)
About the authors

Professor Bronwyn Carlson is an award-winning Aboriginal author, researcher and academic who lives on Dharawal Country in New South Wales. Bronwyn is the author of The politics of identity: who counts as Aboriginal today? and a well known commentator on the place of colonial monuments. She is the founder and editor of The Journal of Global Indigeneity and the Director of the Centre for Global Indigenous Futures, Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Dr Terri Farrelly is a settler researcher and author whose work has been dedicated to Aboriginal suicidologies and addressing racism and discrimination through truth-telling. She lives on the coast of New South Wales with her family where she is a keen year-round ocean tidal-pool swimmer, and knits things for everyone she knows (whether they want them or not). 

 

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