Loading Events

To mark the conferment of the RAI Photography Studies Award


Australian Aboriginal Transformations of the Colonial Archive

Professor Jane Lydon (University of Western Australia)

Monday 22 February at 5.30 pm

Many European photographic archives contain images of Australian Aboriginal people, produced from the mid-nineteenth century for scientific and popular purposes – but rarely to further an Indigenous agenda. In this seminar I review the history of collecting Australian Aboriginal photos and discuss the many ways that Aboriginal people are now using them. I explore the new relations and narratives that emerge from the process of research, digitisation, and return of archival photos to relatives, focusing on their Aboriginal significance. For Indigenous descendants of the people recorded in these photographs, their physical form is less important than the way they embody missing relatives, lost through invasion and assimilation. This process is slow and often awkward, but the rewards are great, in challenging foundational national histories, re-connecting family networks, documenting culture and expressing connections to place. They have become a significant heritage resource for relatives and descendants.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to http://janelydon.eventbrite.co.uk