My island home: re-presenting identities for Torres Strait Islanders living outside the Torres Strait

Watkin Lui, Felecia (2012) My island home: re-presenting identities for Torres Strait Islanders living outside the Torres Strait. Journal of Australian Studies, 36 (2). pp. 141-153.

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Abstract

Since the end of the Second World War, the Torres Strait Islander diaspora located on the mainland of Australia has grown to the extent that it now represents just over 85 percent (40,367 people) of the total Torres Strait Islander population. The continued presence of Islanders living outside their ancestral home islands has called into question this group's ability to establish an authentic cultural identity that legitimises their claims of connection to the Torres Strait. This paper explores the representation and critical aspects of identity for these Islanders. It is based on a narrative inquiry with three different generations of Islanders living outside the Torres Strait (commonly referred to as Mainlanders). Through an emphasis on place-based identity, the narratives in this paper reveal a composite counter-narrative to the frequent claims of cultural and political dissolution and displacement. This paper provides insight into the ways that Islanders negotiate and contest the contemporary Mainlander experience through the creation of systems of re-presentation, cultural expression and relatedness between individuals and the collective.

Item ID: 26237
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1835-6419
Keywords: Torres Strait, identity, culture, diaspora
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2013 00:28
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies @ 60%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 100%
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