Volume 3(2), 2007-05, 214—227

Using/designing digital technologies of representation in Aboriginal Australian knowledge practices

Helen Verran
School of Philosophy
University of Melbourne

Michael Christie
Learning Research Group
Charles Darwin University

Indigenous Australians are often keen to use digital technologies in their struggle to develop sustainable livelihoods on their own lands. This paper tells of gradually coming to recognize how an Aboriginal Australian elder struggled against the grain of digital technologies designed to represent, in using them in Aboriginal Australian knowledge practices where knowledge is always actively performative rather than representional. The performance of Aboriginal knowledge must express the remaking of an ancestral reality. At the same time, this man exploited possibilities the technologies offered for representation in achieving political ends in dealing with representatives of mainstream Australia.

Peer review seal