A blue wristband view of history? The death of Mulrunji Doomadgee and the illusion of postcolonial Australia


This article interrogates Australia’s ‘post-coloniality’ in light of the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee and its legal and political aftermath. While Prime Minister Rudd recently called for an end to the history wars, and while liberal reformist measures such as anti-discrimination laws and native title rights support the illusion that Australia has now reached a point in its history where it has meaningfully departed from its colonial past, the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee and the police reaction to it suggest that Australia today is still very much a colonial place. The article argues that what is emerging is a ‘blue wristband’ view of history which denies the existence of colonial power relations today while actively reproducing them.

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The copyright for this publication belongs to the author, Sarah Keenan. Inquiries about copyright should be directed to the author or the publisher.