A sepia image of a group of people marching in a protest for Australian First Nations land rights

Join Dr Angélique Stastny as she presents a lecture on her 2021 National Library Fellowship research about anti-colonial activist publications in Australia and the Pacific.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library's Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

Dr Angélique Stastny is a 2021 National Library of Australia Fellow, supported by past and present members of the National Library Council and Patrons.

About Dr Angélique Stastny's Fellowship research

The period from the late 1960s to the late 1980s witnessed a multiplication of indigenous activist periodicals in Australia and the Pacific. It coincided with global movements for decolonisation, civil and human rights and was influenced by Black-Power discourses. Indigenous activist newsletters and newspapers were a key communication and political tool in an otherwise white journalistic environment. They raised the issue of racism, white supremacy and injustice, offered detailed political projects and analyses on land rights, in(ter)dependence and treaty, and helped develop anticolonial solidarities between indigenous people in the Pacific region and beyond. Yet the dominant society remained deaf to most of them, or stigmatised these Indigenous activists to the point where non-indigenous support shrank to a trickle, and few managed to truly engage with indigenous aspirations and propositions. 

Five decades later, as some Australian states and territories are discussing or starting to embark on treaty processes, as French Polynesia’s pro-independence party is increasingly gaining ground, and as Kanaky’s pro-independence alliances are holding theirs, these periodicals find a renewed resonance and continuing relevance in current political debates in the region. What political theory and projects did these periodicals offer? What role and responsibilities were accorded to non-indigenous people, and what shifts did these periodicals seek to generate in indigenous-settler relations in order to decolonise these societies? What lessons can be learnt from the failures of past governments and society to effectively engage with those? 

About Dr Angélique Stastny

2021 National Library of Australia Fellow Dr Angélique Stastny holds a PhD in Political Science. Her work focuses on (anti)colonialism and decolonisation in the Pacific, Indigenous politics, racism and critical whiteness. Her first book Ignored Histories: The Politics of History Education and Indigenous-Settler Relations in Australia and Kanaky/New Caledonia was published in 2022 with the University of Hawai'i Press. She is to start a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Melbourne later this year. 

About National Library of Australia Fellowships

The National Library of Australia Fellowships program offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. This program is supported by generous donors and bequests.

Image credit: Black Resources Centre, Black Liberation/Black Resources Centre, 1975, nla.cat-vn1649258

Type Fellowship presentation