The Wheeler Centre
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The F Word: Aboriginality
‘Black women are socially not as entitled to take up space as white women,’ writes Indigenous feminist and unionist Celeste Liddle. ‘Our experiences are special, are marginal and therefore, no matter how much we may have achieved, reside on the periphery.’
The perception that feminism is characterised by a sense of solidarity remains persistent, despite continued evidence pointing to the reality that the struggles of Aboriginal women can be varied and unique. Indigenous women continue to experience violence at a higher rate than non-Indigenous women, and are forced to deal with the confluence of multiple systems of racist and sexist discrimination. In some cases, while intersectionality provides a new feminist vocabulary for speaking about the difficulties faced by racially marginalised groups, mainstream feminist ideology can still appear inadequate or inappropriate for Indigenous women.
What does ‘Aboriginal feminism’ look like, and how might the feminist movement better accommodate difference while still presenting a united front in the fight for broader equality? What are the most pressing issues facing Indigenous women today? Join host Maxine Beneba Clarke to discuss the complex and critical interplay between feminism and Aboriginality with Celeste Liddle and Melissa Lucashenko.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, the Age, Meanjin, the Saturday Paper and the Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015.
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman (traditional owner in Central Australia) who was born in Canberra and has been living in Melbourne since she was a teenager. She is a trade unionist, an activist, a feminist, a social commentator and an opinion writer. In May 2021, she was announced as the preselected Greens candidate for the seat of Cooper in the upcoming Federal Election.
Melissa Lucashenko is a Goorie writer whose work celebrates Aboriginal people and others living around the margins of the First World. Her latest novel, Too Much Lip, won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance. Her novel Mullumbimby was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and Stella Prize, shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Award, and won the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing.