Book Launch: Remote Freedoms

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Presenter:  Dr Sarah Holcombe and Professor Rolf Gerritsen

Date: Jul 27, 2018

Time: 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Contact person:  Alice Springs Campus Library
T: 08 8959 5233

Location:  CDU Library - Alice Springs Campus

Target audience:  his event is open to the public. RSVP is required.

What does it mean to be a "rights-holder" and how does it come about? Remote Freedoms explores the contradictions and tensions of localised human rights work in very remote Indigenous communities.

Based on field research with Anangu of Central Australia, this book investigates how universal human rights are understood, practiced, negotiated and challenged in concert and in conflict with Indigenous rights.

Moving between communities, government, regional NGOs and international UN forums, Sarah E. Holcombe addresses how the notion of rights plays out within the distinctive and ambivalent sociopolitical context of Australia, focusing specifically on Indigenous women and their experiences of violence. Can the secular modern rights-bearer accommodate the ideals of the relational, spiritual Anangu person?

Engaging in a translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the local Pintupi-Luritja vernacular and observing various Indigenous interactions with law enforcement and domestic violence outreach programs, Holcombe offers new insights into our understanding of how the global rights discourse is circulated and understood within Indigenous cultures. She reveals how, in the postcolonial Australian context, human rights are double-edged: they enforce assimilation to a neoliberal social order at the same time that they empower and enfranchise the Indigenous citizen as a political actor.

Remote Freedoms writes Australia's Indigenous peoples into the international debate on localising rights in multicultural terms.

Sarah E. Holcombe is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University.