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In the photograph at the opening of the chapter, Vincent Lingiari, from the Gurindji Nation, accepts a symbolic gesture of land return from former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Lingiari was a spokesperson for the Gurindji strike, which involved Gurindji, Mudburra and Warlpiri workers and their families protesting conditions on a Northern Territory cattle station. In addition, the workers also argued that they were entitled to the land that the station operated from. Lasting ten years, the strike was part of a wave of Indigenous workers’ and land rights protest culminating in the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976. The image is complex. It reveals the contradictions of a white man giving land back to a Nation who never ceded their sovereignty. It also signals the unpaid debts owed to the negation of Indigenous sovereignties that facilitated the wealth of the pastoral industry and Australian national economy. The photograph was carefully staged by Mervyn Bishop, one of the first Indigenous photographers employed in non-Indigenous print media, and is iconic for Indigenous self-representation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe entangled legacies of empire
Subtitle of host publicationRace, finance and inequality
EditorsPaul Robert Gilbert, Clea Bourne, Max Haiven, Johnna Montgomerie
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781526163455
ISBN (Print)9781526163448
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023


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