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Legacies of Indigenous Resistance

Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan in Australian Indigenous Film, Theatre and Literature

by Matteo Dutto (Author)
Monographs X, 244 Pages

Summary

This book explores the ways in which Australian Indigenous filmmakers, performers and writers work within their Indigenous communities to tell the stories of early Indigenous resistance leaders who fought against British invaders and settlers, thus keeping their legacies alive and connected to community in the present. It offers the first comprehensive and trans-disciplinary analysis of how the stories of Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan (Bidjigal, Bunuba and Noongar freedom fighters, respectively) have been retold in the past forty years across different media. Combining textual and historical analysis with original interviews with Indigenous cultural producers, it foregrounds the multimodal nature of Indigenous storytelling and the dynamic relationship of these stories to reclamations of sovereignty in the present. It adds a significant new chapter to the study of Indigenous history-making as political action, while modelling a new approach to stories of frontier resistance leaders and providing a greater understanding of how the decolonizing power of Indigenous screen, stage and text production connects past, present and future acts of resistance.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Story One Pemulwuy
  • Chapter 1 Pemulwuy as a pan-Aboriginal hero
  • Chapter 2 Legacies of resistance in Rachel Perkins’ First Australians and Grant Leigh Saunders’ Pemulwuy: A War of Two Laws
  • Story Two Jandamarra
  • Chapter 3 The three lives of Jandamarra: Archivists, copycats and custodians
  • Chapter 4 Performing resistance
  • Chapter 5 “Keeping story alive”: Screening the voice of Bunuba Country in Mitch Torres’ Jandamarra’s War and Keepers of the Story
  • Story Three Yagan
  • Chapter 6 Defacing colonial sovereignty in Sally Riley’s Confessions of a Headhunter
  • Chapter 7 Breaching into the settler colonial city: Re-enacting crosshatch history in Kelrick Martin’s Yagan
  • Conclusion Reflections from Yagan Square
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Series index

Legacies of
Indigenous
Resistance

Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan
in Australian Indigenous Film,
Theatre and Literature

Matteo Dutto

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PETER LANG

Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • New York • Wien

About the author

Matteo Dutto is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. His current research explores how cultural producers collaborate with Indigenous, migrant and multiethnic communities to produce transmedia and transcultural counter-narratives of belonging and identity. His work has been published in Studies in Documentary Film and Fulgor and he recently collaborated on the production of the Australian Indigenous Film and Television (AIFTV) online knowledge sharing platform (aiftv-research.net).

About the book

This book explores the ways in which Australian Indigenous filmmakers, performers and writers work within their Indigenous communities to tell the stories of early Indigenous resistance leaders who fought against British invaders and settlers, thus keeping their legacies alive and connected to community in the present. It offers the first comprehensive and trans-disciplinary analysis of how the stories of Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan (Bidjigal, Bunuba and Noongar freedom fighters, respectively) have been retold in the past forty years across different media. Combining textual and historical analysis with original interviews with Indigenous cultural producers, it foregrounds the multimodal nature of Indigenous storytelling and the dynamic relationship of these stories to reclamations of sovereignty in the present. It adds a significant new chapter to the study of Indigenous history-making as political action, while modelling a new approach to stories of frontier resistance leaders and providing a greater understanding of how the decolonizing power of Indigenous screen, stage and text production connects past, present and future acts of resistance.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Acknowledgements

These words mark my fifth year living in the countries of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I therefore want to pay my respects to all their elders past, present and emerging, who at different moments throughout these years welcomed me to their homeland. Most importantly, I want to acknowledge the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people’s ongoing and uninterrupted sovereignty and connection with their countries.

First and foremost, I wish to thank my colleagues and mentors at Monash University for their support and encouragement. Special thanks in particular to Therese Davis and Belinda Smaill who have offered their guidance and support from the very early days of this project, when we first met in Prato (Italy) during a conference, to its final completion. Their extensive feedback on many drafts and all the insightful discussions we had over the past years were crucial not just to push this book into unexpected and challenging directions, but for my personal growth as a scholar. My profoundest thanks to them both.

I also need to thank the Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural producers and sovereign artists who agreed to be interviewed for this project: Mitch Torres, Kelrick Martin, Sally Riley, Steve Hawke and Grant Leigh Saunders. This book owes a big debt not only to their time and helpfulness, but to their courageous works and to the opportunities they gave me to expand my thinking and reshape my sense of self in relation to the country where I now live.

Thanks also to my good friends and colleagues Dan Edwards, Shweta Kishore, Belinda Glynn and Felicity Collins. Working with them on the Monash “Under Construction” seminar series and postgraduate conference allowed me to continuously fine-tune my research and writing skills and their support and feedback has been essential throughout these years. Particular thanks here to my copy-editor Belinda Glynn, for going the extra mile in helping to shape the final version of this book. I am most grateful←ix | x→ also to the editor of this book series, Anne Brewster, for her work in furthering interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Australian history and culture as well as her interest and belief in my work. Thanks, too, to the team at Peter Lang Oxford for their support and patience in bringing this project to publication and to Studies in Documentary Film for allowing me to draw on a previously published article.

I also wish to thank my family for always standing by my choices, guiding me when I needed it and giving me the freedom to pursue my own interests when I wanted to. Finally, to my muse, companion and wife, Enza. Thanks for inspiring this project and joining me in this travel. This work would never have been possible without your powerful insight, our late-night discussions and your genuine love and enthusiasm for everything I do. Mercés.←x | 1→

Biographical notes

Matteo Dutto (Author)

Matteo Dutto is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. His current research explores how cultural producers collaborate with Indigenous, migrant and multiethnic communities to produce transmedia and transcultural counter-narratives of belonging and identity. His work has been published in Studies in Documentary Film and Fulgor and he recently collaborated on the production of the Australian Indigenous Film and Television (AIFTV) online knowledge sharing platform (aiftv-research.net).

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