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Speaking the past, engaging the present: The infrapolitics of an Adnyamathanha enterprise

Wendy Darby


This article draws upon ethnographic research conducted with an Aboriginal family who own and operate a heritage tourism company, where presentation of space and place promotes environmental awareness, spirituality of place and social justice. It presents this particular example of heritage tourism as a dialogic zone of contemporary resistance inserted into the public realm. Although engagement with the market through commodification of place might be viewed as succumbing to hegemony through either consent or resignation, I show that by creating an eco-spiritual experience of place the group maintains a strategic interstitial location between cultures, while re-appropriation of memory-places serves as a source of self-esteem that is located in the ability of the Adnyamathanha to survive culturally. Tourists’ physical engagement with sites freighted with ancestral importance creates linkages that serve to call into question place-bound cultural borders.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740