Bradley Webb

Examining and investigating how racism determines colonial frameworks (corpus) which then influences both government and media in the continued oppression of the Aboriginal narrative.

PhD candidate

  • Bradley Webb

Supervisor

Co-supervisor

Funded by

  • RTP Stipend
  • Monash Graduate Excellence Scholarship
  • Monash Indigenous Research Award

TV is such a powerful medium that I think Aboriginal people need to be up on the screen with the rest of the community. Otherwise, as well as being on the fringes of towns and the fringes of everything that’s happening in Australia, they’ll also be on the fringes of the air, too. A child growing up and not seeing their own people – not seeing yourself on the television, your community, your culture – gets a funny idea that they’re not worth anything.

Ms Freda Glynn, Director of Imparja Television

The practice led research examines and presents through a body of artworks, how the dynamics of (re)presentation operates at and is identified within both corporate, government and creative industry frameworks - (corpus). The research investigates how corpus influence and determines how the narrative of Aboriginal representations is presented to society. Further contributing toward the ongoing Trans-Generational trauma effect upon Aboriginal people’s lives.

Most images presented in all forms of media are white representations with a mix of preferred other cultural groups. The Aboriginal narrative especially within mainstream is irrelevant. For example, if the representation of Aboriginal people at any board level across corporate Australia particularly in mining and energy, would there be less desecration and destructions of ancient scared Aboriginal sites? The perception and perspective would be no because profit determines the economical narrative. Or, if Aboriginal people were afforded even more opportunity to influence government regarding policies, the social and political landscape may look vastly different? Or even representation within media and advertising, along with educational institutes, what kind of images collections, or narratives about Aboriginal people would be conveyed, illuminated across our screens, or housed within educational institutes. Would this change attitudes and belief within society held about Aboriginal people?

How we are (re)presented determines are right for self-definition and how a culture and heritage is valued and held. The most powerful medium is the media, African American Muslim Leader Malcolm X was quoted stating. “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses”. With the advent of social media, and the governments use of it along with and other corporate sectors has created even greater division between society strongly evident through the election process where opinions or perspectives become fact.

The limited narratives and or Aboriginal actors within the film and television industry also typifies the research question, as demonstrated by the barriers faced in the portrayal of Aboriginal themes. Aboriginal Actress and playwright Nakia Lui stated that the entertainment industry does not provide Aboriginal people longevity within the industry. The industry will support on or two initiatives but that is as far as it goes, so as for building on your body of work or a career, the opportunities are non-existent. The holding of cultural heritage in places such as museums creates problematics around how cultural heritage is defined and valued.