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Henley: On indiginous identity stories

February 24, 2010

A thought occurred to me walking between sessions with views of the Thames to my right (we are in Wind in the Willows territory here). Since I first worked with aboriginal families in Australia back int the 70s I have had conversations with various law holders, aunties, uncles etc. I have heard different (and often contradictory) stories of aboriginal culture, but all the stories are anti-stories, they are stories of contrast between a remembrance of what was past, but is no longer lived and the current reality of the imperium. It’s the same with my own welsh culture, our identity stories (the Welsh knot for example) are stories about differences between us and the conqurer. It’s one of the shames of conquest, not so much the loss of culture, but forcing even its memories to be defined in terms of not-U.

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