“We don’t look back enough to go forward, I don’t think. We need to look in the rear view mirror everyday”. Professor Mick Dodson AM, a Yawuru Aboriginal man, Australian barrister, academic and recently retired Director of the National Centre of Indigenous Studies at ANU, talks to our own Julia Brown about some of the ongoing struggles for Indigenous Australians.
This post is a little outside our usual mandate, but we are intrigued by the idea that Professor Robinson proposes: an interactive online project she is working on to share and find publication avenues for the works of the late anthropologist Chandra Jayawardena. What would it mean to use field notes that have undergone no analysis? What is it like using the raw data of someone who can no longer have a say on how it is assessed?
As anthropologist Kirin Narayan put to readers of her book Alive in the Writing, the creative process of ethnographic writing can grow from ‘the impulse to find company amid the often isolating and difficult aspects of writing’. In ethnographic writing, we need to somehow re-galvanise our fieldwork experiences that are now in the past.
It doesn’t go without saying, so I’ll say it: I’ve never worked for the CIA, or done any intelligence or security work of any kind, nor would I. But all through my years living abroad, in Indonesia and Australia, I harbored a secret fantasy, that maybe, one day, I would be tapped.