Disrupting the Colonial Archive (book review in Sydney Review of Books)

Archives are meant to hold the memory of Australia, but whose memory? The history these official archives preserve and tell is funded, collected, configured, curated, and often created by the colonial settler state. As such, they reflect the state’s values and ideology. This is the power that the archives wield: they can turn ideology into history, opinion into fact.

Archives are unreliable witnesses, especially here on these lands of invasion and occupation. As a collection of fragments of what actually happened, the archives of settler colonialism are full of misremembered histories, partial truths, and falsifications. They are also propaganda machines for the settler fantasy, selling a narrative of the state saving and civilising us First Nations people. 

Read more here.