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The narratives of Albert Namatjira


Aitken, W and Wareham, C, The narratives of Albert Namatjira, Australian Aboriginal Studies, (1) pp. 56-68. ISSN 0729-4352 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Albert Namatjira gained public acclaim for his art at a time when Aboriginal people were excluded from full citizenship in Australia. His narrative provides a context to analyse the human impact of the assimilation policy and the official control exercised over Aboriginal lives, and how these were rationalised within the institutional bureaucracy. This paper examines the reasons for his popular success and analyses the discourse to reveal the racist assumptions that underpinned much of the artistic criticism Namatjira’s work received. This paper demonstrates that the legacy of control and exploitation over Aboriginal artists from the Hermannsburg School is not confined to the past, and concludes that Namatjira’s own legacy is profoundly important for the identity of modern Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aboriginal policy; art; narrative analysis; racism
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Aitken, W (Dr Wendy Aitken)
UTAS Author:Wareham, C (Dr Christopher Wareham)
ID Code:120215
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-08-16
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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