Kimberley Friction: Complex Attachments to Water-Places in Northern Australia

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Water, in all its physical, symbolic and metaphorical guises, has an obvious interconnection with people. Without water, human and other life forms cannot (and do not) exist. Less obvious is water's potential as a site of anthropological investigation to explore attachments to place. Such attachments, as Arturo Escobar observes, facilitate a multiplicity of place-based cultures, and emerge when 'connectivity, interactivity and positionality' are present. His observation makes epistemological room for what Anna Tsing conceptualises as the 'friction' that permeates environmental and indigenous projects. Via Australian-based Kimberley ethnographic insights, this article examines people's attachments to place-based cultures when they become meaningful through multi-layered tensions about water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-61
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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