Inclusive Indigenous Australian voices in the semiotic landscape of the National Museum of Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Histories of Indigenous peoples did not begin when European colonized their native lands: In Australia it began with the Dreaming some 40 to 60,000 years ago. Museum studies specify the need for museums to be socially responsible in their representation of cultures. This article examines two exhibits within the First Australians Galleries at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra through the concepts of; multi-voicedness, semiotic landscape, and agency. Qualitative methodology was used including semi-structured interviews with curators, image-based and document analysis. Findings showed that the semiotic landscape of the museum was framed by the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ narratives and represented a diversity of voices; personal and political. The curator’s understanding of the need to partner with the Indigenous community, suggests that curators are in position to be change agents in the process to empower these communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1080/15596893.2017.1388624
JournalMuseums & Social Issues
Volume12
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)126-139
Number of pages13
ISSN1559-6893
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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semiotics
museum
document analysis
community
narrative
National Museum of Australia
methodology
history
interview
Dreaming
History
Native Land
Torres Strait
Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Communities
Canberra
Qualitative Methodology
Museum Studies

Cite this

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title = "Inclusive Indigenous Australian voices in the semiotic landscape of the National Museum of Australia",
abstract = "Histories of Indigenous peoples did not begin when European colonized their native lands: In Australia it began with the Dreaming some 40 to 60,000 years ago. Museum studies specify the need for museums to be socially responsible in their representation of cultures. This article examines two exhibits within the First Australians Galleries at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra through the concepts of; multi-voicedness, semiotic landscape, and agency. Qualitative methodology was used including semi-structured interviews with curators, image-based and document analysis. Findings showed that the semiotic landscape of the museum was framed by the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ narratives and represented a diversity of voices; personal and political. The curator’s understanding of the need to partner with the Indigenous community, suggests that curators are in position to be change agents in the process to empower these communities.",
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Inclusive Indigenous Australian voices in the semiotic landscape of the National Museum of Australia. / Cole, Anne Jodon; Brooks, Eva Irene.

In: Museums & Social Issues, Vol. 12, No. 2, 10.1080/15596893.2017.1388624, 02.11.2017, p. 126-139.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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