Historicising Silence: An Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Poetry


  • Ravichandra P Chittampalli University of Mysore, Mysore, India




aboriginal, colonisation, empire, historicisation, poetry, silence


The paper looks at texts selected from the Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature edited by Anita Heiss and Peter Minter as well as poets chosen from the website Creative Spirits from Oodgeroo (Kath Walker) to Zelda Quakawoot to understand how gaze invents and reinvents people and their culture. The metaphor of the museum is used to question the Empire‟s attempt at erasing and archeologically reinventing ancient societies, while interrogating how dispossession leads to silencing of communities. The second part analytically delineates the evolution from a victim position to, consciousness raising, resistance, recovering and reconstruction of one‟s cultural heritage and voice. The third section of the paper conclusively argues how modern aboriginal poetry has attempted at non-choral, esoteric as well as representational identity formulations as a prelude to dehusking the valance of prejudice and civilisational arrogance, which continue to indent the First Citizen in cultural spaces.


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