06 Feb

My article „Remembering for Refugees in Australia: Political Memories and Concepts of Democracy in Refugee Advocacy Post-Tampa“ has just been published by the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Democratic politics involves a constant negotiation about the belonging and sovereignty of its polity. In Australia, this is particularly apparent in debates about asylum seekers arriving by boat. After a drastic shift in refugee policies in the 2001 Tampa affair, refugee advocates challenged with various protests the status quo of refugee policies and inadvertently, dominant perceptions of political belonging and sovereignty. Crucially, I argue, certain forms of memory were employed in such protests to construct alternative models of democracy, with particular modes of belonging and sovereignty that were deemed more inclusive of refugees. I examine three distinct cases of political memories being used for refugee advocacy: the ‘boat-people.org’ campaign, the Tampa rallies in Melbourne and the SIEV X memorial in Canberra. I show how in each case certain forms of memory were evoked with particular implications for the idea of democratic belonging and sovereignty and with specific criteria under which refugees were to be accepted.

Contact me if you are interested in a free electronic copy.

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