In the Northern Territory Intervention, What is Saved or Rescued and at What Cost?

Irene Watson


The foundation of the Australian colonial project lies within an ‘originary violence’, in which the state retains a vested interest in maintaining the founding order of things. Inequalities and iniquities are maintained for the purpose of sustaining the life and continuity of the state. The Australian state, founder of a violent (dis)order is called upon by the international community to conform and uphold ‘human rights’, but what does this call to conformity require, particularly when the call comes from states which are also founded upon colonial violence? This article argumes that very little is required beyond the masquerade that ‘equality’ for Aboriginal peoples is an on-going project of the state. So for what purpose does the masquerade continue?


Indigenous peoples; Northern Territory; intervention; colonisation; originary violence

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