Conviction Politics

Conviction Politics: A digital investigation of the convict routes of Australian democracy

Conviction Politics is an international digital history project exploring the impact of radicals and rebels transported as political convicts to Australia on their place of exile, and the patterns of collective resistance by the mass of unfree convict women and women to the exploitation of their forced labour.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of democratic reformers, rural labour protestors, Irish freedom fighters and revolutionaries were exiled as political prisoners to Britain’s Australian colonies. As convicts, they resisted exploitation through inventive solidarity in the face of coercion, and in turn changed the political direction of the colonies. Conviction Politics traces how these convicts and their ideas helped lay the foundations of egalitarianism, political and social democracy, unions and workers rights and national self-determination in Australia and the UK.

Through archival research, data analysis, documentary, animation and song, the project is producing an innovative suite of digital content exploring these stories and their contemporary resonance.

Based at Monash University, Conviction Politics collaborates with researchers from universities in Australia, the UK and Ireland, and is partnered with a range of museums, archives, and unions.

Read more about the project.

Event launch

Join us for the launch of Conviction Politics and its first stage of findings and discoveries to-date

Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, will formally launch the project in Melbourne on 2 December, 2021. The event will feature:

  • The screening of a sequence of short documentaries
  • A demonstration of the project’s custom-built online transmedia hub – an interactive digital space where project discoveries, data visualisations, an interactive atlas and media are curated
  • A performance of music produced for the project
  • A panel discussion with project leader Associate Professor Tony Moore and Dr Monika Schwarz from Monash, and Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart from the University of New England, Steve Thomas from Roar Film, Alison Pennington, Senior Economist at the Centre for Future Work, and Daisy Bailey, Monash PhD Candidate.

Register here

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