European colonisation of Australia depended upon a culturally specific imagined geography comprising a visualised and spatialised conception of the land and its peoples. In establishing a system of Aboriginal reserves in the south‐eastern colony of Victoria around 1860, these principles were fundamental to the goal of transforming indigenous people, through creating idealised landscapes intended to teach through example, performance and the creation of an individual subject – with its success measurable through observation and documentation, especially photography. Central to the administration’s conception of these settlements, and to its vision for the Aboriginal people of Victoria, was a reformed gender and class order that would appropriately locate the indigenous population within modern settler society. But this regime overlooked or denied disjunctions with the residents’ profoundly different cultural orientation, in which vision was subordinated to aurality, and in which collective forms of personhood took precedence over the individual, allowing for the persistence of tradition.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||History and Anthropology|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Aug 2006|