Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists

Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson, pacific-edge.info
Third World Bookshop. ©Russ Grayson, pacific-edge.info

Jon Piccini
University of Queensland
Follow on Twitter @JonPiccini

Ever since 2009, when the so called ‘Green Revolution’ in Iran mobilised disenchantment over rigged electoral processes via social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, pundits have marveled at the ‘hashtag revolutionaries’ of the 21st century. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter and #RhodesMustFall have come to define movements for African American dignity and the decolonisation of higher education, while the media have awarded popular ‘tweeters’ such as Deray Mckesson spokesperson positions in these otherwise leaderless movements.

However, some dispute the level to which these websites and social media celebrities were central to protest organisation, and broader questions of temporality are equally posed. The marvelling in Twitter’s spontaneous and instantaneous communication leaves little allowance for previous forms of transnational communication that, while perhaps not as quick or easily mediatised, created global movements long before the internet.

My book, Transnational Protest, Australia and the 1960s, published by Palgrave MacMillan shines a light on the processes of global political engagement that made the 1960s a transnational decade. It explores how Australian activists sought out, engaged with, experienced, and translated global ideas – from anti-colonial struggle in Vietnam to the Black Power movement in America and student-worker politics in France. Continue reading “Global Radicals: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Sixties Activists”

“Malcolm X Exploded in My Mind”: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Indigenous Activists

The Black Power salute given by Chicka Dixon, Paul Coe and Bob McLeod Source: Audio Visual Archive, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra. Courtesy of the National Museum Australia website.
The Black Power salute given by Aboriginal activists Chicka Dixon, Paul Coe, and Bob McLeod in 1972. Source: Audio Visual Archive, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra. Courtesy of the National Museum Australia website.

Jon Piccini
University of Queensland
Follow on Twitter @JonPiccini

Recently, an upturn in indigenous struggles in Australia have seen the legacies of colonialism and genocide forced back onto the national radar. Protests against the closure of indigenous communities, the continued forced removal of Aboriginal children by welfare agencies, and the birth of youth-led groups like Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) are but a few examples of this. Instead of the sanitised government-sponsored campaign to ‘Recognise’ indigenous peoples in the Australian constitution, many of these activists are looking back to the global struggles of the 1960s and 1970s for their political inspiration. Continue reading ““Malcolm X Exploded in My Mind”: The Transnational Imagination of Australian Indigenous Activists”