BeDevil: Colonialism and the children of miscegenation

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Oceania on 2013-04-26 22:59Z by Steven

BeDevil: Colonialism and the children of miscegenation

Journal of International Communication
Volume 19,  Issue 1, 2013
Special Issue: South-North conversations
pages 43-58
DOI: 10.1080/13216597.2012.754363

Wajiha Raza Rizvi
Hashmi Media Institute, Karachi, Pakistan

BeDevil (1993) addresses the marginalization of Aboriginal Australians in the events, symbolism, and media hype surrounding the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia in 1988. Tracey Moffatt challenges the racial stereotypes by gearing a political process of reform and self-recognition though her postmodernist ‘identity search’-driven work aiming at appropriation of hegemonic spectacle. BeDevil disrupts the hegemony of the pure original canon that excluded Aboriginal Australians from the mainstream. This sort of exclusion practice is a known phenomenon worldwide, more so happens in the postcolonial Third World countries like Pakistan and India as both exclude their ethnic minorities from the mainstream media. The paper echos back to Moffatt’s stories of bedeviling experiences with tales of similar issues around race, gender, and normality from Islamic Republic of Pakistan, wherein post-Independence immigrants are constantly struggling for appropriation and redefinition of their identities. The Pakistan born children of miscegenation are considered immigrants by descent despite the facts concerning Islamic origins, two nations’ theory, migration, and over 60 years residency. The paper compares the mutually bedeviling experiences of ‘othering’ and a struggle with the notions of shared social conscience and histories between children of miscegenation in Australia and Pakistan in the context of the Australian trilogy.

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