I still call Australia home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a White Postcolonising society

I still call Australia home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a White Postcolonising society Book Section

Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration

  • Author(s): Moreton-Robinson, A.
  • Secondary Author(s): Ahmed, S.
  • Published: 2003
  • Publisher: Berg Publishing

Abstract: Migrancy and dispossession indelibly mark configurations of belonging, home and place in the postcolonising nation-state. In the Australian context, the sense of belonging, home and place enjoyed by the non-Indigenous subject – coloniser/migrant- is based on the dispossession of the original owners of the land and the denial of our rights under international customary law. It is a sense of belonging derived from ownership as understood within the logic of capital; and it mobilises the legend of the pioneer, 'the battler', in its self-legitimisation. Against this stands the Indigenous sense of belonging, home and place in its incommensurable difference. It is these differences in conceptions and experiences of belonging, that I address in this chapter. I do this through a reconsideration of the discourses on British migrancy and a critique of the ways that migrancy is mobilised in postcolonial theory. My focus on white British migrancy is because of its role in colonisation and the dominant and privileged location of white people and institutions, which remain at the centre of Australian society. I then discuss some of the ways in which Indigenous people configure home, place and belonging and the social, political and legal impositions that define us, the original owners, as not belonging, but as homeless and out of place. I argue that Indigenous belonging challenges the assumption that Australia is postcolonial because our relation to land, what I call an ontological belonging, is omnipresent, and continues to unsettle non-Indigenous belonging based on illegal dispossession.

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Suggested Citation
Moreton-Robinson, A., 2003, I still call Australia home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a White Postcolonising society, Book Section, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4287.

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