Published in Overland Issue · Uncategorized Dreaming the Concrete Jungle Simone Hughes The City’s Outback explores the deprivation of the blackfella experience and documents intergenerational trauma in the ‘concrete jungle’. Cowlishaw asks: ‘Can the mythic “we” actually offer Aborigines, “them”, equality, self-determination, “our” respect or understanding?’ Reconciliation, as it presently stands, can only be recognised in impersonal terms – as an abstraction, of crimes perpetrated by ‘others’. The City’s Outback is based upon an ethnographic study conducted in Mount Druitt, a suburb in western Sydney. Cowlishaw introduces Frank Doolan, a blackfella who helps her find Aboriginal people to interview – ‘the people of the place’ living within the city’s ‘subordinated self’. Doolan is an agitator, poet, protector, confidant and mediator. He recognises something woeful in a world that ‘systemically damages Aboriginal lives’. Cowlishaw, an ARC Professorial Fellow at UTS, is familiar with Australia’s race-related difficulties. She has produced several accounts before, including Rednecks, Eggheads and Blackfellas: Racial Power and Intimacy in Australia (1999) and was the winner of the Gleebooks Prize for Literary and Cultural Criticism in 2004 with Blackfellas, Whitefellas and the Hidden Injuries of Race. She wants her account to mean something beyond the usual ‘talking under water’. Despite the public expressions in the media, the politicking, the whitefellas ‘shit-eating grin’, an arduous question remains: how to tackle the problem of Aboriginal control of their own self-representation? Simone Hughes More by Simone Hughes › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 20 November 202320 November 2023 · Reviews Justice, death or revenge: Brian Merchant’s Blood in the Machine Samantha Floreani If you’ve ever been called a Luddite, it was probably meant as an insult. The Luddite name has been so powerfully besmirched that it is now commonly used as a pejorative to denote technophobia or an irrational aversion to progress. At the heart of Brian Merchant’s Blood in the Machine is a denouncement of this mischaracterisation. And in dismantling the myth, Merchant revitalises the legend. First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] Overland’s free fortnightly newsletter highlights the best of Overland online, new writing from the print journal, and regularly collates writing events and opportunities in the community. Sign up to the newsletter No, thanks!