What Space Exists For Aboriginality?

  • Irene Watson
    University of South Australia


This article explores the problem of universality and the historical exclusion and translation of Aboriginal perspectives within the context of human rights and social justice. Opinions based upon Aboriginal world views have been largely excluded from Australian mainstream society, and are generally absent for example in court decisions which refer to Aboriginal law, culture, and Aboriginality. In some instances anthropological evidence is given during court proceedings, but that evidence is still treated by Euro-centric perceptions. Translation is sometimes attempted, but it occurs across the expanse of a colonial history and as if Aboriginal culture was embedded and unaffected by the workings of colonialism. In the light of this, there is a need for an analysis of the impact of colonialism and its entrenched powers. But questions arise: to what extent can effective translations occur? How might they be determined, and what might they mean? And it is sure that the exclusion of Aboriginal community voices negates the possibility or capacity for any reliable translation of Aboriginal perspectives.

Published: 2010-01-01
Pages:15 to 25
Section: Articles
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How to Cite
Watson, I. (2010). Universality: What Space Exists For Aboriginality?. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 3(1), 15-25. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcis.v3i1.55