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The narratives of Albert Namatjira

Aitken, W ORCID: 0000-0003-1213-4375 and Wareham, CJ 2017 , 'The narratives of Albert Namatjira' , Australian Aboriginal Studies, no. 1 , pp. 56-68 .

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Aitken, W and Wareham, CJ
Keywords: Aboriginal policy; art; narrative analysis; racism
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Aboriginal Studies
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press
ISSN: 0729-4352
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 AIATSIS

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