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After the last ship: a post colonial reconstruction of diaspora

Fernandes-Satar, Audrey (2010) After the last ship: a post colonial reconstruction of diaspora. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Milk, Dudh, dudh, dudh

After the last ship embodies the critical incident that illustrates my own history as well as the connection to the history of other women, who like myself made the journey across the Kala Pani – the Indian Ocean and lived as migrants in other lands. In this project I aim to bring greater understanding of how subjectivities are shaped through embodied experiences of diaspora and the diasporising of home (Brah, 1996). I have explored my own passage from India to Mozambique and finally to Australia, to illustrate in a testimonial way how diaspora can be lived, embodied and experienced in the flesh. This has been achieved through a body of artworks that have been exhibited in galleries in Perth, Western Australia, exploring the medium of drawing as well as the compilation of poems and the writing of this thesis.

In this project I bear witness to the oppressive policies of the fascist government in Portugal and the effects of displacement and exile. I bear witness to how identity and culture can serve as a vehicle of empowerment, how experiences of belonging can germinate and take root, post diaspora.

This project is about shedding light, making sense of the act of diaspora and the journey that is diaspora. It is also about representation, about me as a body, as a racialised and gendered body living this journey, this trajectory. My diasporic space is pulled apart or deconstructed within a feminist, post colonial framework with the aim that this scrutiny will shed light on how I come to visualise myself inhabiting Hommi Bhabha’s Third Space (1988) a space of movement and enunciation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Supervisor(s): Aveling, Nado
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