ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF COUNTRY We acknowledge that Chariot 2020 was created on land that always has and always will belong to the Wurudjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We acknowledge that this land was stolen and that sovereignty over it was never ceded, and that no acknowledgement is enough to right this wrong. We pay respects to Wurundjeri elders past, present, and future, and extend this repect to al Aboroginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people who have been sharing stories for thousands and thousands of years.
CHARIOT VOLUME 3 2020
Lindsay Wong Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson
SUBEDITORS Jacob Antoine Tristan Eng Zack Goutzoulas Anet McClintock Christina Smith Lauren Song
Charlotte Allan Jacob Antoine Olivia Jastrzebski Daisy Norfolk James Robertson Lauren Song Henry Sundram Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson Lindsay Wong
Chariot is the undergraduate history journal of the University of Melbourne. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the university, the printers, or the editors. All writing and artwork remains the property of the creators.
EDITORIAL :: Lindsay Wong and Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson
PRIDE AND PATRIOTISM :: Charlotte Allan An analysis of American sheet music throughout The Great War
MUSSOLINI AND THE MISUSE OF HISTORY :: Lauren Song
FASHION AND HISTORY :: Olivia Jastrzebski The Burberry trench coat and the representation of masculinity in World War I
THEY ‘VANISHED INTO THE SANDS’ :: Jacob Antoine Productions of Self and Other during the ‘War on Terror’
LEST WE REMEMBER :: Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson The controversies of the Darwin Bombing
GRAYDEN & MANSLAUGHTER, THE AUSTRALIAN FREEDOM RIDES & THE WAVE-HILL WALKOFF :: Henry Sundram The story behind the 1967 referendum’s success
TO MURDER A STATUE :: Daisy Norfolk Mythological re-imaginings and Black Lives Matter
DAVID BOWIE’S BERLIN :: James Robertson Chariot fiction
RED FEVER AND FIERY SPIRIT :: Lindsay Wong The role of the Youth in China’s Cultural Revolution
EDITORIAL Lindsay Wong and Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson
Creating the third edition of Chariot has been an incredibly rewarding experience despite the challenging conditions of 2020. We have had an extraordinary team of sub-editors who have gone above and beyond to work with a considerable number of student contributions this year. As editors, Lindsay and Tori have worked to expand Chariot’s online catalogue with students’ works frequently posted on the Chariot website. We couldn’t be prouder of the diverse range of essays and fictional work submitted, nine of which we have carefully selected to include in this year’s edition. We are also incredibly grateful for the guidance and support of our history discipline liaison Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy. For this year’s edition, we have included a number of pieces which focus on primary source analysis, from Charlotte’s investigation of American sheet music during WWI to Olivia’s essay on the Burberry trench coat. We have also included topics which involve more recent history from Jacob’s look at rhetoric during the War on Terror to Daisy’s examination of statues and their relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. This year’s edition also features a work of historical fiction by James Robertson. Looking forward to 2021, our goals for Chariot remain the same, but we also want to reach a wider audience and increase our platform. We want to continue to promote student contributions in diverse and underrepresented areas of history and encourage submissions of all kinds.
PRIDE AND PATRIOTISM
An analysis of American sheet music throughout The Great War Charlotte Allan
The World War One era song America Here’s My Boy was published by the Joe Morris Music Company of New York on 16 February 1917, and quickly became one of the most popular songs in the United States.1 The song was written by composer Arthur Lange and served as a form of propaganda, with dutiful lyrics from Andrew B. Sterling. Lange was a very popular Tin Pan Alley composer during the twentieth century and was known for composing music for up to 120 films, Broadway shows and a handful of war songs. His highly notable tune America Here’s My Boy featured patriotic lyrics and was written at the pinnacle of the Preparedness Movement in the United States. From 1915, this movement, designed by President Roosevelt and General Leonard Wood, sought to mobilise and bolster the American army and featured the development of many summer camps to help train the American troops for war. Lange’s memorable tune echoed throughout the camps and later at war. As the historian Christina Gier has argued, “singing songs helped allay soldiers’ fears and comforted families by painting the violent war as a positive experience, often both redefining and obscuring realities.” 2 Fundamentally, Lange’s sheet music was intended to rally troops for war by appealing to elements such as patriotism and allegiance to one’s country. It also tapped into “the sentiment of every mother” with anxieties over sending her son to war.3 As a result, this piece of music appealed to a target audience of mainly American mothers with sons, yet also to young American men thinking of enlisting.
Figure 1: America Here’s My Boy sheet music cover (1917)
The main themes represented in this source depict the celebration of patriotism, loyalty and duty. The lyrics for America Here’s My Boy honour these particular themes and were evidently carefully designed to be clear and repetitive. The song resembles other US WWI songs which, as the historian Glen Watkins has shown, featured “concise lyrics, and simple melodies.” 4 The songs served not only to entertain and bring people together, but also to support the war effort and make men desire to enlist. The United States desperately needed troops when they entered the war on 6 April 1917. As a result, they now moved to eradicate the older anti-conscription tunes such as If They Want to Fight, All Right, but Neutral Is My Middle Name (1915), and to pen fresh new lyrics that would encourage enlistment.5 The lyrics for America Here’s My Boy emphasised how young men and boys should be “ready to die or do” for the sake of America.6 This song also suggested to all mothers that their boys should be raised to fight for their country and celebrate all that it has to offer. As the historian Glen Watkins has argued, “[t]hroughout the war one of the most potent and enduring symbols of womanhood was understandably that of the home-front Mother,” 7 and these lyrics aimed to ease women into letting their sons commit to the war. The song includes these lines: “there’s a million mothers knocking at the nation’s door, a million mothers, yes and there’ll be millions more”—this is repeated twice in the course of the song.8 The aim is clearly to unite American mothers together and to assuage their fears about sending
their young boys to war. The sheet music is framed with the phrase: “ The sentiment of every American Mother.” 9 This is designed to suggest that every other American mother is doing this too, thus encouraging conformity. Listening to the song enables further analysis. This is a lively marching song, featuring elements such as a constant trumpet, lending it a martial feel. Gier has argued that the popular appeal of such songs derived in part from the “irrepressible energy of the repetition of a song, that caught people’s attention and created excitement” – this statement certainly applies to this song.10 The martial feel is further enhanced by the addition of many voices present throughout the chorus, thus working to band everyone together and nourish the idea of patriotism and allegiance to America. Finally, the front cover of the sheet music [figure 1] features a propaganda image of a mother and her son standing in front of a large and looming America in the background, exemplifying the ways in which “songbooks and sheet music [aimed to] project ideas of identity, often within images of patriotism.” 11 The boy is depicted as ready for the army with his uniform and gun. The mother looks immensely proud of her son. She is also directly facing the audience, perhaps making eye contact with other mothers who might be reluctant to let their sons sign up.
Endnotes 1 Andrew B. Sterling and Arthur Lange, America Here’s My Boy (New York: Joe Morris Music Co, 1917). 2 Christina Gier, Singing, Soldiering, and Sheet Music in America during the First World War (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2017), 34. 3 Sterling and Lange, America Here’s My Boy. 4 Glen Watkins, Proof Through the Night: Music and the Great War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 268. 5 Jack Sterling Frost, If They Want to Fight, All Right, but Neutral Is My Middle Name (Chicago: Frank J. Root, 1915). 6 Sterling and Lange, America Here’s My Boy. 7 Watkins, Proof through the Night, 262. 8 Sterling and Lange, America Here’s My Boy. 9 Sterling, and Lange, America Here’s My Boy. 10 Gier, Singing, Soldiering, and Sheet Music in America during the First World War (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2017), 32. 11 Gier, Singing, Soldiering, and Sheet Music in America, 32. Figure 1: https://www.loc.gov/item/2013568887/
MUSSOLINI AND THE MISUSE OF HISTORY Lauren Song
When the Italian National Fascist Party rose to power under the leadership of Benito Mussolini in October 1922, they brought along with them the promise of a revitalised Roman Empire. Deliberately painted as the rightful successor to the ancient Romans, Mussolini heavily and systematically utilised the tradition of ‘Romanità’ (Roman-ness), to shape and manipulate the nationalistic sentiments of the Italian people. The fascist regime imitated classical architecture, appropriated Roman motifs and employed historical narratives to achieve their various social, cultural and political goals. One of Mussolini’s biggest difficulties in establishing historical continuity between ancient Rome and fascist Italy is creating a clear link between the two opposing ideologies he wished to champion – ‘passatista Romanità’ (the Roman tradition) and the ‘uomo nuovo, stato nuovo’ (new man, new state).1 As the Kingdom of Italy, established merely decades prior in 1861, was a relatively new state, the fascist regime worked to foster a sense of national identity through pushing for the narrative of a glorious, ancient, shared history to promote political stability, patriotism, and public support. The integration of both the traditional and the contemporary is profoundly seen through Fascist architecture and design. Building programs and styles of architecture were often employed by the Italian Fascist regime to ignite Italian citizens’ pride and patriotism through appropriating classical designs. State-commissioned works of architecture often deliberately incorporated classical styles of building into more modern construction styles. Through this, fascist ideology aimed to combine a range of aesthetics to showcase a celebration of both the traditional and the modern, and the ability for the two contradictory styles of architecture to seemingly coexist. The usage of the old and the new works entwined the presence of Romanità into the culture of the modern city, penetrating into the public’s consciousness the historical greatness of Rome and its alleged surviving legacy in Fascist Italy. One of the most prominent examples of Fascist architecture drawing on influences from ancient Rome is the Esposizione Universale Romana, or the EUR quarter, located in Southern Rome. The district was developed with the intention of holding the World Fair of 1942, a symbolic year for the Italian Fascist regime as it marks the twentieth anniversary of Mussolini’s March on Rome of 1922, a turning point signifying the beginning of the Fascist era. The architectural design of the EUR combined both ‘Roman imperial town planning’ with the ‘bombastic modernism’2 of Italian rationalism, a prominent style adopted and commonly used by the Fascist regime.3 The construction of the EUR district plays a significant role in realising one of the most fundamental dreams of Italian Fascist ideology: merging the themes of classical antiquity and modern developments to create and sustain historical continuity from ancient Rome to Fascist Italy. This idea is best illustrated through Mussolini’s 1924 speech at the Capitoline, the historical centre of the city, where he stated that ‘Rome cannot and must not be only a modern city, [...] it must be a city worthy of its glory’.4 In particular, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, the most representative and iconic building of the EUR, embodies the merge of classical and modern architecture. Designed in 1937 by notable Italian architects of the time, the structure represents a ‘workable marriage [between] modernist architecture’ and the ‘ancient tradition of Imperial Rome’.5 The building, nicknamed the ‘Colosseo Quadrato’ (square colosseum), unmistakably imitates classical Roman design to present a clear link between the glorious architectural achievements of ancient Rome and the advancements of Mussolini’s Fascist regime. Subtle details, such as the fact that the six arches in each column and nine arches of each row matches the number of letters in ‘Benito’ and ‘Mussolini’ respectively, serve as a solemn reminder of the dark historical context behind the building’s grand and impressive façade. Moreover, symbolically important motifs from ancient Rome were deliberately and commonly incorporated into different aspects of daily life by the Fascist regime. The most blatant example is the word ‘fascism’ itself, which originated from the symbol of the fasce, and was adopted as a defining symbol of Italian Fascism. An emblem with roots in ancient Etruscan civilisation, the fasce was utilised to represent magistrate power, jurisdiction, absolute authority, strength, and unity in ancient Rome.6 By appropriating this symbol, Mussolini alluded to the power of disciplinary measures that were once enforced in Roman times. Employed as a symbol of the Fascist state in 1926, the government made attempts to redesign the Italian national flag to incorporate the fasce.7 While attempts to redesign the flag were ultimately unsuccessful, the fasce nevertheless remained a historically and politically significant icon which was displayed in many other ways throughout Italy. Also known as the ‘fascio littorio’ (the fascist emblem), the fasce was adorned on everyday objects including Italian currency, stamps, badges, and medals. Furthermore, Mussolini passed a decree in December 1925 ordering the fasce to be displayed on all ministerial
buildings, and the following year, all government infrastructures.8 The decision to incorporate the fasce onto all Italian coins was especially significant in demonstrating Mussolini’s propagandistic intentions. Prior to the Fascist government’s rise to power, Italy’s poor economy and the shortage of metal as a result of World War I had led to the issuing of low-quality paper notes which became unusable after a few years.9 Thus, the incorporation of the fasce onto faces of coins, a ‘regular vehicle of propaganda’,10 could be argued to symbolise an ultimate and permanent symbol of a prosperous and everlasting Fascist government. The usage of coins as a propagandistic device also emulates the practice of ancient Roman times, where the faces of coins frequently portrayed symbolic events, with their wide circulation ensuring that the message would be received by all layers of society. Coins as a method of propaganda were readily used in ancient Roman times to detail military achievements or to legitimise one’s reign, a practice Mussolini exploited fully under his regime. Additionally, the icon of the fasce was included in the design of the military uniform during Fascist-era Italy, with the image of a fasce often embroidered on the cap and the left sleeve.11 The fasce is also often shown clutched in the claws of an eagle, otherwise known as an Aquila, yet another prominent symbol of ancient Rome. The Aquila was a principle standard of the ancient Roman legion, and its usage in the Italian military shows the Fascist regime’s desire for Italian troops, the public, and other states to draw parallels between their army and the conquering strength of ancient Rome. Many other predominant elements of classical Rome were also integrated throughout Italian culture in the early twentieth century. For instance, the she-wolf of Rome, which played a crucial role in the foundation myth of the city as recounted by Livy, appeared in Fascist-era coins and architecture designs; the acronym SPQR ‘Senatus Populusque Romanus’ (the senate and the people of Rome), was engraved onto monuments, statues, and even public utilities such as drains. The heavy usage of such imagery clearly illustrates the aim of the Fascist government to promote a sense of historical progression and to foster a strong sense of Italian nationalism through highlighting the shared history of Italian citizens. In politics and social policy, Mussolini’s Fascist government significantly resembled those from ancient Roman times, specifically the politics of Augustus. Mussolini heavily emphasised the importance of marriage and family. One of his most influential and significant aspects of legislation was his May 1927 proposal that, in addition to a bachelor’s tax already implemented in Italy, a further tax on childless married couples was to be put into place.12 On the other hand, monetary rewards, advice, and maternity assistance would be provided for Italian mothers. Through these social policies, Mussolini championed the goal of boosting the Italian population to increase the demographic of middle- and working-class citizens. Drastically different to the radical approach of his contemporaries, such as the policies of mass extermination of non-Aryan peoples as with Adolf Hitler’s policy, Mussolini instead formulated his legislations with striking similarity to those enacted under Augustus in the first century AD. The practice of state subsidence for producing offspring was implemented by Augustus during his regime, which, as stated by Dio’s account, prescribed ‘heavier penalties for unmarried men and women’, while conversely instituting ‘rewards for marriage and producing children’.13 The Fascist government’s decision to implement such measures not only championed domesticity and family, but also had pragmatic aims of boosting the working class population as a countermeasure to Italy’s weakening economy. Mussolini also placed heavy emphasis on the agricultural tradition of ancient Rome, perpetuating the inclination towards a rural and agrarian society in modern day Italy. This is best illustrated through the ‘Battle of the Wheat’, a program initiated in 1925, which focused on the goal of increasing the state production levels of cereal. The ‘Battle of the Wheat’ signalled Mussolini advocating for a simple, pastoral, and rural lifestyle like those from Roman times.14 This is further emphasised through exploiting the icon of the ancient Roman poet Virgil, who, according to Mussolini, was ‘born in a furrow [due to his mother giving] birth in the fields’,15 thereby linking Virgil, a traditional figure tightly associated with ancient Rome, with nature, earth, and the land. Stamps from this period also helped spread the propaganda for a return to an agricultural state, incorporating images of pastoral and rural themes. Similar to Mussolini’s usage of coins for propaganda purposes, the wide circulation of stamps ensured the message of upholding agrarian traditions became a widespread view. However, the message of a pacifist and agrarian lifestyle presented new difficulties in later years as Mussolini turned away from his initial policies of pacifism and agrarianism to embrace a militaristic and aggressive imperial foreign policy. As such, the Fascist regime was forced to present not only the glories of their ancestors but also their juxtaposing actions and politics. Mussolini justified his hypocritical exploits through the Roman race, a ‘model [he] could opportunistically twist to any occasion’.16 Hence, the fascist account of the Romans was at times pacifist and rural, or else aggressively expansionist and imperialist. The usage of the Roman past to support imperialist action is most notably seen through the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. The Fascist government utilised their supposed Roman ancestry to justify their invasion of Ethiopia, portraying their sole intentions as wishing to reconquer land historically dominated by the ancient Romans. Mussolini’s imperial policy, as described by his speech from May 1922, stated that Italy would only be able to ‘carry the symbol and sign of the new order’ if it were ‘strong and powerful at sea’.17 Thus, Mussolini employed the myth of Rome as the basis for his foreign policy, as well as an ‘imperialistic vision of the modern world’.18 Mussolini heavily utilised ancient sources with a wholly imperialist view, pushing the agenda that all expansionist
actions were carried out under the fulfilment of Romanità. For example, Horace wrote of the glory of an empire that encompasses the known world and Virgil portrayed a Roman rule that would have no limit.19 The necessity of using ancient sources to support Mussolini’s agenda, far from demonstrating Italian imperial superiority, instead reveals the lack of support for expansion as Italians wished for domestic issues such as rising unemployment to be addressed first. This foreshadows the instability and weakness of a regime built on opposing historical narratives. Ultimately, Mussolini’s myth of Romanità was an immensely troubled one marred by underlying flaws and unavoidable contradictions. The Fascist state’s attempt at reconciliation between a pacifist yet imperialist government, a glorious yet economically crippling country, and an ancient yet newly founded nation all highlights the deep-rooted instability within the Fascist regime which Mussolini desperately sought to conceal. The extensive usage of Roman symbols, while successful in achieving political, social, and cultural aims in the short-term, is unable to sustain a regime built on such shaky foundation in the long run. The failure to foresee the problematic consequences of a contradictory regime was one of Mussolini’s major weaknesses which eventually led to his downfall.
Endnotes 1 Jan Nelis, “Constructing Fascist Identity: Benito Mussolini and the Myth of Romanità,” The Classical World, 100, no. 4 (Summer 2007), 407. 2 Claudia Lazzaro and Roger J. Crum, Donatello Among the Blackshirts: History and Modernity in the Visual Culture of Fascist Italy, (New York: Cornell University Press, 2005), 16. 3 Claudia Lazzaro and Roger J. Crum, Donatello Among the Blackshirts: History and Modernity in the Visual Culture of Fascist Italy, (New York: Cornell University Press, 2005), 16. 4 Denis Mack Smith, Mussolini, (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), 162. 5 Jan Nelis, “Constructing Fascist Identity,” 408. 6 Claudia Lazzaro and Roger J. Crum, Donatello Among the Blackshirts, 16. 7 Denis Mack Smith, Mussolini, 265. 8 Valentina Follo, “ The Power of Images,” (Ed.D.,
University of Pennsylvania, 2013), 63. 9 Follo, “ The Power of Images,” 61. 10 Follo, “ The Power of Images,” 61. 11 Follo, “ The Power of Images,” 63. 12 Giardina, “ The Fascist Myth of Romanity”, 65. 13 Cassius Dio, The Roman History: the Reign of Augustus, trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert (United Kingdom: Penguin Classics, 1987). 14 Giardina, “ The Fascist Myth of Romanity”, 62. 15 Barron, “A Mysterious Revival of Roman Passion,” 40. 16 Barron, “A Mysterious Revival of Roman Passion,” 57. 17 Peter Bondanella, The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World, (North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), 3. 18 Bondanella, The Eternal City, 3. 19 Horace, The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace, trans. John Conington (London: George Bell and Sons, 1882), 4.15; Virgil, Aeneid, trans. Theodore C. Williams (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1910), 1.371-375.
RED FEVER AND FIERY SPIRIT
The Role of the Youth in China’s Cultural Revolution Lindsay Wong
This piece will show how the youth played a significant role in the Cultural Revolution in China from 1966 to 1976. China’s leader during this time, Mao Zedong, instilled a revolutionary spirit in the youth, largely based on Mao Zedong Thought and the ideology of socialist realism. A prominent feature of the Cultural Revolution was propaganda, which was a cultural means to promote communist party ideology to the masses. Firstly, forms of propaganda like posters, songs and artworks featured imagery of the youth and depicted them as a strong revolutionary force. Visual propaganda during this period had certain characteristics so that they could appeal to the masses. Secondly, the youth also had positive reactions to propaganda as they remember the Cultural Revolution as a time when they had a collective, shared identity. Thirdly, the youth were heavily involved in the Cultural Revolution at a grassroots level, leading the revolution in a bottom-up manner. They were faithful to Mao and carried out his objectives for the revolution by becoming Red Guards and participating in revolts against intellectuals both within and outside the party who threatened Mao’s position. The youth faithfully participated in political campaigns promoting Mao Zedong Thought. These activities supported Maoist ideology and demonstrated the important role that they played during the Cultural Revolution. Pioneered by Mao and the rest of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Cultural Revolution was a sociopolitical movement in China that lasted for a decade, between 1966 and 1976. It was a movement for Mao to promote his ideology to the masses. Mao Zedong Thought (his ideology) included aspects of Marxist-Leninism and focused on the peasants as a revolutionary force. During this period, Mao relied on the working class, soldiers, and peasants to achieve economic prosperity and to restore the revolutionary spirit from the Communist Revolution of 1949. 1 Another objective of the Cultural Revolution was to eradicate Mao’s opponents in the CCP, such as Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaopeng, because of their differing views on China’s economy. 2 Liu’s ideas of bourgeois capitalism directly contrasted with Mao’s ideas of socialist realism, thus positioning him as a threat to Mao’s power.3 Socialist realism formed the fundamental basis of revolutionary politics, and Mao called upon the youth to push forward with the revolution to form a united front.4 Likewise, socialist realism became the method for artistic production that artists had to comply to.5 Propaganda and student-led mass movements were effective tools to assist Mao in achieving his aims for the Cultural Revolution. Maoist ideology was present in all forms of propaganda, which became a means by which the CCP could instil a revolutionary mindset into the masses. For the Cultural Revolution to be effective, Mao used propaganda to stir up and inspire revolutionary sentiment especially among the youth, who he perceived to be the easiest to manipulate.6 Not only was the youth impressionable, but they were easily coerced by propaganda because they were eager to learn and serve their country and were the least conservative in their thinking. In May 1942 in Yanan, Mao had spoken about his aim to utilise revolutionary art to create a “cultural army” that was capable of defeating opponents. 7 He carried out the valuable task of producing propaganda for the Cultural Revolution. 8 Visual propaganda and songs were the easiest and most effective ways to do this because a large portion of the population at the time was illiterate.9 The consumption of posters and songs did not require advanced literacy or education to be understood, so these forms of propaganda could reach the masses. Propaganda also supported the various campaigns set up by Mao to mobilise the masses.10 The visual elements of propaganda like posters were capable of being direct and straightforward by conveying a simple yet ideological message that everyone could understand.11 To most effectively instil art and propaganda with ideological meaning, Mao instructed artists to completely disregard their own self-interest and familiarise themselves with the working-class lifestyle so they could more appropriately produce indoctrinated content suitable for the masses.12 Posters, as one of the most prominent forms of propaganda, were mass produced, sold at low prices and distributed widely.13 The main characteristics of posters were vivid and bold colours, an optimistic and positive atmosphere, depictions of model citizens, and politically fused slogans.14 The colour red was featured heavily in visual propaganda because red was believed to symbolise everything morally good and revolutionary.15 Posters usually portrayed idealistic scenes of what China should look like, such as peasants working on the farms, Mao being glorified or deified, and the enthusiastic youth emanating a revolutionary spirit. These portrayals had to support Maoist ideology and the political regime.16 As such, propaganda was highly publicised and circulated throughout the country, not only as publicity as a method of educating the population on Maoist ideals. Following Maoist ideology, the role of the youth as a theme has been emphasised in propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution.17 The model citizens were usually the youth, workers or peasants and were often smiling and had courageous postures, conveying that partaking in the revolution should be a joyous affair through which they can exhibit their hard work for the sake of their country.18 Because high productivity was one of the objectives of
the Cultural Revolution, youths were portrayed to be energetic, enthusiastic, full of life and hopeful.19 As a result, the people who viewed the posters may feel inspired to also do their part for the revolution. For example, Figure 1 depicts a young man holding up Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ triumphantly in one hand, with his other hand tightly holding on to a tool used in the countryside for farming. 20 There is a big smile adorning his face, illustrating how happy and excited he is to actively partake in the movement, both in being educated and working on the fields itself. The book is surrounded by a bright light, indicating that Mao Zedong Thought was viewed positively and strongly instilled into the youth. Behind him are crowds of people cheering him on. This suggests that everyone had to support each other in the movement and it fostered a collective and shared identity. Idealised images of the youth in posters were vital in promoting Maoist ideals of the Cultural Revolution.
Figure 1: Central Industrial Arts College. Win honor for our great leader Chairman Mao, bring credit to our socialist motherlands, 1970.
The youth also reacted positively to the propaganda produced during this decade and felt inspired by them. Posters helped to construct the identities of the young Chinese people who matured during the Cultural Revolution and shaped their world views. According to Geng, popular propaganda depicted Mao as the “protector” of China. 21 This compelled the youth to idolise him and bolstered nationalistic sentiment, which was one of the aims of Cultural Revolution propaganda. The youth understood what was socially expected of them after viewing propaganda posters. 22 Young people also desired to become the heroic and courageous figures depicted in posters. 23 This demonstrates the effectiveness of posters as educational tools in structuring how the youth were expected to behave and act during the Cultural Revolution. Similarly, music was another form of propaganda that was easily accessible to the masses because it was frequently broadcasted on radio and television. 24 Songs were memorable to the youth; music triggered certain feelings and responses in its listeners. The main themes of Cultural Revolution songs were praise, battle, revolution, and love for the country. 25 These songs conveyed fundamentally patriotic and nationalistic messages about everlasting faith and commitment to the country and Mao. Likewise, songs targeted towards the youth were instilled with Maoist ideology as they were meant to inspire them with revolutionary fervour. 26 For example, the children’s song “I love Beijing’s Tiananmen” glorified Mao and used the iconic Tiananmen Square as a symbol of love for their country. 27 The lyrics such as “Our great leader Chairman Mao, guides us forward” motivated the youth and conveyed the message that Mao and the motherland should be at the forefront of their actions as they were dedicated followers of Mao. 28 These kinds of songs were played repeatedly to children at a young age to indoctrinate them into a nationalistic and revolutionary sentiment, so that they grew up with this mindset. 29 The youth also felt united by having a collective and shared identity when consuming music, which facilitated feelings of excitement of being part of a mass movement during the Cultural Revolution and further encouraged the youth’s active participation. 30 Music was a convenient vehicle for the CCP to promote Maoist ideology in a memorable manner to the youth and outline their role in the movement as devout followers of Mao. From the onset of the Cultural Revolution, Mao encouraged the youth to be politically active and partake in revolts to purge the bourgeois capitalists, thereby directly serving the aims of the movement.31 In elite schools and universities across the country, students grouped together to form the Red Guards and went against authorities who they perceived to have bourgeois mindsets.32 These students were of “red family origin,” meaning that they
were the children of working class people and communist party cadres from the pre-liberation period ,before the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949 that established the People’s Republic of China. For example, students at Qinghua University became Red Guards and enthusiastically participated in the movement. The movement enabled them to display their passion and knowledge of Maoist ideology in a group effort.33 Propaganda posters were also used in this context to inspire the youth to directly participate in the movement, with heavy emphasis on bold red and black colours.34 Red Guards openly criticised teachers and administrators in school settings as they intended to purge them of their bourgeois thoughts.35 Authorities were accused of enrolling students from nonrevolutionary backgrounds, who could become a resistant force during the Cultural Revolution.36 The youth were politically active as a rebellious force supporting and serving Mao by calling out those who did not follow Maoist ideology. Many of the Red Guards wanted to experience the exciting feelings of challenging authorities and collectively uniting as a revolutionary force under Mao’s leadership.37 They participated in political campaigns to execute Mao Zedong Thought, such as the Destroy the Four Olds campaign of 1966-1967. Part of Mao’s ideology during the Cultural Revolution was to eradicate the “four olds” because they were infused with bourgeois ideals: culture, habits, ideas and customs.38 Therefore, Mao encouraged students to ransack homes and temples that still contained traditional elements of feudal culture, such as artwork and religious objects.39 However, the rebellious Red Guards became violent quickly and fractions emerged among the force, making them more difficult for Mao to control.40 The Red Guards’ influence and role in society was so profound that by 1968 they had “created complete anarchy” within the CCP and Mao had to disband them by sending them to the countryside to pacify them.41 This political campaign involved the youth assisting peasants in labour and learning from them.42 The Maoist ideology that had been instilled into the youth from a young age made them a vital and active revolutionary force that Mao could take advantage of to carry out his aims of the initial part of the Cultural Revolution. This generation of young people had grown up and been educated with Mao Zedong Thought. According to Wemheuer, the youth were “taught to hate hidden class enemies” and perceived violence to be a “necessary means” in order to deal with such forces.43 The fact that this was a mass movement also exacerbated the violence as the Red Guards felt united by a common Maoist ideology, so they could easily engage in violent acts for the sake of the revolution and the nation.44 The Red Guards also played a valuable role in promoting the Cultural Revolution across the country. They travelled to other cities and “exchanged revolutionary experiences” with other youth.45 This further spread Maoist ideology on a larger scale. Furthermore, during the early part of the Cultural Revolution, years of schooling were shortened so that the youth could participate in agricultural production in the countryside. 46 Schools were reopened in the early 1970s and education was essentially Maoist propaganda.47 The student-led movement was established from the bottom-up as a grassroots movement that later took precedence in society and cemented the significant role of the youth in the Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, the youth were a vital force that obediently carried out Mao’s aims of the movement. Their portrayal in propaganda, such as posters and music, as model citizens of the nation effectively instilled Maoist ideology, largely based on socialist realism, into young people who consumed this propaganda on a regular basis. The visually appealing stylistic and thematic characteristics of posters and its accessibility to reach the masses made them a popular form of propaganda that could convey revolutionary messages. he appeal to youth bolstered nationalistic sentiment. Likewise, Cultural Revolution songs united the youth to be a collective force and exacerbated their revolutionary feelings. Songs evoked Maoist ideology in the lyrics and were frequently broadcasted so that the youth would remember it. As a result, young people felt inspired and compelled to follow Mao without hesitation and incorporated his ideology into their daily lives. The youth actively participated in the Cultural Revolution during its early years as Red Guards. They were heavily involved in political campaigns and had an intense, nationalistic and revolutionary fervour that supported Mao by violently executing Maoist ideology. There can be no doubt that the youth played a significant role during the Cultural Revolution as loyal and devoted followers of Mao.
Endnotes 1 Patricia Powell and Joseph Wong, “Propaganda Posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” The Historian 59, no.4 (Summer 1997): 777, http://www.jstor.org/ stable/24451816. 2 Powell and Wong, “Propaganda Posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” 777. 3 Powell and Wong, “Propaganda Posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” 781. 4 Ban Wang, “Socialist Realism,” in Words and Their Stories: Essays on the Language of the Cultural Revolution, eds. Ban Wang (Netherlands: Brill, 2010), 104. 5 Yaochang Pan, “ The Posters of the Mao Era: A Perspective of Art and Society,” Artibus et Historiae 35, no.69 (2014): 290, http://www.jstor.org/stable/24595744. 6 Barbara Mittler, “Popular Propaganda? Art and Culture in Revolutionary China,” Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society 152, no.4 (2008): 471, http://www.jstor. org/stable/40541604. 7 Zedong Mao, “ Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art” (speech, Yanan, May 2, 1942), https://www.marxists. org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/ mswv308.htm, Introduction. 8 David E. Apter, “Yan’an and the Narrative Reconstruction of Reality,” Daedalus 122, no.2 (1993): 218, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20027174. 9 Pan, “ The Posters of the Mao Era,” 290. 10 Stefan Landsberger, “Contextualising (Propaganda) Posters,” in Visualising China, 1845-1965: Moving and Still images in Historical Narratives, eds. Christian Henriot and Wen-hsin Ye (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2013), 392. 11 Landsberger, “Contextualising (Propaganda) Posters,” 392. 12 David Lewis Feldman, “Ideology and the Manipulation of Symbols: Leadership Perceptions of Science, Education,
and Art in the People’s Republic of China, 1961-1974,” Political Psychology 6, no. 3 (1985): 447, http://www.jstor.org/ stable/3791081. 13 Pan, “ The Posters of the Mao Era,” 299. 14 Ranta, “Mao’s Homeworld(s),” 61. 15 Landsberger, “Contextualising (Propaganda) Posters,” 381. 16 Ranta, “Mao’s Homeworld(s),” 58. 17 Harriet Evans, “Ambiguities of Address: Cultural Revolution Posters and Their Post-Mao Appeal,” in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, eds. Jie Li and Enhua Zhang (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2016), 94. 18 Pan, “ The Posters of the Mao Era,” 302. 19 Stefan Landsberger, “Realising the Chinese Dream: three visions of making China great again,” in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, eds. Jacopo Galimberti, Noemi de Haro Garxia, and Victoria H.F. Scott (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2020), 29. 20 Central Industrial Arts College. Win honor for our great leader Chairman Mao, bring credit to our socialist motherland, 1970, Poster, 106x77 cm, Landsberger collection, www.chineseposters.net. 21 Yan Geng, Mao’s Images: Artists and China’s 1949 Transition (Storrs, USA: J.B. Metzler, 2018), 165. 22 Landsberger, “Contextualising (Propaganda) Posters,” 394-395. 23 Landsberger, “Contextualising (Propaganda) Posters,” 394. 24 Lei Ouyang Bryant, “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia: Collective Memories of Cultural Revolution Songs in Contemporary China,” The China Review 5, no.2 (2005): 153, http://www.jstor.org/stable/23462034. 25 Bryant, “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia,” 153. 26 Bryant, “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia,” 154. 27 Guowuyuan Wenhuazu Geminggequ Zhengji Xiaozubian (State Council Cultural Division Revolutionary Song Collection Committee Editors), Zhandi Xinge: Wuchanjieji Wenhuadageming Yi Lai Chuangzuogequ (New Songs of the Battlefield: An Anthology of New Song Compositions since the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution) volume 1 (Beijing: Chinese Communist Party, 1972), 150.
28 Guowuyuan Wenhuazu Geminggequ Zhengji Xiaozubian (State Council Cultural Division Revolutionary Song Collection Committee Editors), Zhandi Xinge: Wuchanjieji Wenhuadageming Yi Lai Chuangzuogequ (New Songs of the Battlefield: An Anthology of New Song Compositions since the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution) volume 1 (Beijing: Chinese Communist Party, 1972), 150. 29 Bryant, “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia,” 154. 30 Bryant, “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia,” 164. 31 Ranta, “Mao’s Homeworld(s),” 56. 32 Jiaqi Yan and Gao Gao, Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996), 57. 33 Jonathan Unger, “ The Cultural Revolution at the Grass Roots,” The China Journal no.57 (2007): 118, http://www.jstor. org/stable/20066243. 34 Evans, “Ambiguities of Address,” 94. 35 Mobo Gao, Constructing China: Clashing Views of the People’s Republic (London: Pluto Press, 2018), 120. 36 Gao, Constructing China, 120. 37 Evans, “Ambiguities of Address,” 94. 38 Gao, Constructing China, 118. 39 Unger, “ The Cultural Revolution at the Grass Roots,” 111. 40 Gao, Constructing China, 120. 41 Powell and Wong, “Propaganda Posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” 781. 42 Powell and Wong, “Propaganda Posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” 781. 43 Felix Wemheuer, A Social History of Maoist China: Conflict and Change, 1949-1976 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 590. 44 Wemheuer, A Social History of Maoist China, 590. 45 Wemheuer, A Social History of Maoist China, 600. 46 Gao, Constructing China, 127. 47 Gao, Constructing China, 128. Figure 1: Figure 1. Central Industrial Arts College. Win honor for our great leader Chairman Mao, bring credit to our socialist motherland. 1970. Poster, 106x77 cm. Landsberger collection. www.chineseposters.net.
FASHION AND HISTORY
The Burberry Trench Coat and the Representation of Masculinity in World War I Olivia Jastrzebski Clothing of any variety had been used as a method to display status, especially in the military. They also document the available materials, technological advancements, and public demands in design, form, and function of the time. During the mid-nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution assisted in the multiplicity of garment creation, construction, and innovation of practical and comfortable fashion, functionalities which were then adopted for the use of war. Figure 1 shows a man standing with his back towards the viewer, holding a pair of binoculars to scout or observe the surrounding scenery. However, the focus is not upon the man specifically, instead it shows off the distinctive drape of the trench coat. It stands out, forcing the eye to enjoy the photo for the sake of fashion. For some viewers, the sight of this trench coat might perhaps also prompt a sense of nationalistic pride, as the image suggests a civilian donning the trench coat is transformed into a soldier for his country. The overall construction and development of the garment have a deeply rich history.
Figure 1: Photograph, Wayne William Mackay, binoculars and trench coat. Artist unknown, National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas.
However, Burberry as a company had started out as a new form of utility and sportswear, before expanding into the world of military use. The origins of the Burberry company started with the creation of gabardine in 1879 and the famed Tielocken coat in 1912. Known for being worn by people such as Sir Ernest Shackleton and later by Lord Kitchener, this coat became synonymous with heroism, Britishness, and high fashion.1 Even in Australia, the image of a Burberry coat held strong patriotic emotions. Examining advertisements during the pre-war period from The Bulletin, the size and placement of the image were smaller and less impactful than one on the eve of war, containing a full-page spread that adapted to the necessity of Burberry attire. Analysing the garment in Figure 1 can demonstrate how the change of technology had been so intricately influential to changing fashions, and how it affected the way men had spent their money on clothing. 2 Military uniforms had always been used as a way to display status, provide protection from the elements, and act as identifiable tools to distinguish friend from foe. Form and function had always been relevant when considering the concept and construction of military garments, but none more so during the early twentieth century due to the context of the First World War, where military garments such as the greatcoat and the trench were not only used for protection but also used for fashion, sporting attire, and for expeditions.
The Industrial Revolution had introduced new methods of manufacturing, with the creation of a close weave fabric called gabardine in 1879. This new fabric encouraged how fashion would have to adapt for new technology, munitions, and weather, and had been used to assist in sheltering the wearer from harsh conditions while being far more comfortable than older competitive brands. Other additions to the innovation of the trench coat construction had been the practical elements including epaulettes, D-ring belts used to carry munitions, and the gun flap that provided extra protection from extreme rainfall. All of these features of the trench coat underline the fact that it was designed for military use, with trench warfare in mind. The British company Burberry, with its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century, uniquely made the outstanding fabric gabardine. With properties that could withstand and insulate against harsh weather conditions, this iconic tartan had been created with a lightweight fabric that was far superior to any other brand in the market due to its durability and for being weatherproof without suffocating the wearerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skin. Other improvements in the clothing industry had also seen advancement in how military uniforms and attire were designed and produced. Colouring of early twentieth-century military attire is significantly important. Khaki, with its origins in India, gained popularity due to the remarkable ability to camouflage.3 This was a new concept, as military uniforms from preceding wars had valued national colours and other varied regalias, which were not considered useful in the new style of trench warfare on the Western Front during World War One. Khaki represented a new style of warfare. It was designed for blending into the surrounding environment and at times had been used to display status,4 thus it became a form of codifying menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashion and style whilst acting as an authority to the behaviour of gentlemanliness and the future of the fashion industry.5 This was further assisted through the use of Burberry advertisements during the pre-war and wartime periods.6 Noting that Australia was still intrinsically linked with the British Empire in the early twentieth century, it is worth examining Australian Burberry advertisements from the pre-war and wartime periods. These advertisements suggest a strong presence of British cultural, behavioural and gender norms. We might read these ads as aimed at enforcing a patriotic view in regards to what could and should be worn. In fact, the British War Office had issued a decree that encouraged the use of the Burberry brand in 1900.7 These advertisements served to codify a particular masculine behaviour and aesthetic, and included motifs that effectively amounted to propaganda enjoining men to fight for their country or empire. However, not all countries had used the Burberry trench coat for a positive and patriotic light. For example, in Ireland the trench coat had also been utilised on both sides of the conflict, which caused a change in the message of the garment. Instead of British patriotism, for some, it would have incited feelings of fear and anxiety due to republicanism and the conflict between the Irish Republican Army and the Auxiliary force.8 Exchanging the representation from patriotic hero, to the conflict in Ireland would have instilled a form of public fear when the coat was worn. Examining the purpose of the coat, we find an emphasis on function and form together. With the addition of camouflage and synthesis of fabrics, the Burberry trench coat was meant to last. Technological advancement in fashion seemingly coincided with the imperatives of war and changes in the nature of warfare. The history of this garment shows us that form and function are not mutually exclusive and can work in conjunction, especially when there is the technology available. An overall extension of the creation of the coat manifested itself into British cultural life, therefore influencing how and when it was used. In the pre-war time, the trench coat was a message of hardship and endurance; during the war, it became the face of patriotism, enabling and marking the change from civilian into hero.
Figure 2: The Bulletin, 1912, The Burberry Topcoat, National Library Australia.
Figure 3: The Bulletin, May 1914, Burberry Topcoat, National Library of Australia.
Figure 4: Black and White photograph of three soldiers standing next to a plane, Alexandria, National WWI Museum and Memorial.
Endnotes 1 Jane Tynan, “Military Dress and Men’s Outdoor Leisurewear: Burberry’s Trench Coat in First World War Britain,” Journal of Design History 24, no. 2, (May 2011): 150. 2 Phyllis G. Tortora, Dress Fashion and Technology: From Prehistory to the Present, (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015), 121. 3 Thomas S. Abler, “Uniforms, as Work and Dress for Civilians and Military,” in Berg Encyclopedia of World Fashion and Dress, ed. Phyllis G. Tortora (Oxford, Bloomsbury Academic, 2010), 308-315. 4 Nina Edwards, Dressed for War, Uniform, Civilian Clothing and Trappings, 1914 – 1918, (London: I.B Tauris & Company Limited, 2014), 34-35. 5 Brent Shannon, “Refashioning Men: Masculinity, and the Cultivation of the Male Consumer in Britain, 1860-1914,” Victorian Studies 46, no. 4(July 2005), 602. 6 Alison Goodrum, “Land of Hip and Glory: Fashioning the ‘Classic’ National Body,” in Dressed to Impressed, ed. William J. F. Keenan (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2001), 85-104. 7 Alistair O’Neil, “Burberry,” in The Berg Companion to Fashion, ed. Valerie Steel (Oxford: Berg Fashion Library, 2010), 105-106.
Figure 5: Burberrys Avertisement, France, International War Museum.
8 Maurice Walsh, Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary Word, 1918-1923 (London: Faber and Faber, 2015), 277. Figure 1: Artist Unknown, Photograph of Wayne William Mackay, n.d., 7.7 x 5.4 cm, National WW1 Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, https://theworldwar.pastperfectonline.com/ photo/D56FB2A6-D59A-42DA-A587-731989715218 Figure 2: The Bulletin. Burberry Advertisement. 1912. National Library Australia, Canberra. www.nla.gov.au. Figure 3: The Bulletin. Burberry Advertisement. 1914. National Library Australia, Canberra. www.nla.gov.au. Figure 4: Artist Unknown, Photograph of three black and white soldiers standing next to a plane, Alexandria Egypt, n.d., 4.5 x 7cm, National WW1 Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, https://theworldwar.pastperfectonline.com/ photo/22432DD3-7DE4-4D78-AE7D-175254853152 Figure 5: Devambez Imprimerie, Poster of Burberry, n.d., Lithograph, 1200mm x 800mm, Paris, https://www.iwm.org. uk/collections/item/object/31251
THEY ‘VANISHED INTO THE SANDS’ Productions of Self and Other during the ‘War on Terror’ Jacob Antoine Trigger warnings: violence, racism, sexism
The US had a turbulent entry into the twenty-first century. The attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001 catapulted the Bush administration into crisis mode. Describing the enemy was an essential task in developing a coherent response to the emergency that would come to be known as the ‘War on Terror’. I will interrogate the rhetorical strategies used by George W. Bush to generate support for US invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003). I argue the way in which Bush produced binary identities enabled him to delegate sets of narratives and values to different actors; this was a reiteration of imperial power dynamics and an exercise in legitimising and preserving US hegemony. To evaluate these narratives, first, I situate this article in the academic literature on discourse in the ‘War on Terror’. Second, I outline Foucauldian discourse analysis and Orientalism as the epistemological context to my analysis. Third, I argue that the narrative assigned to the Other entailed reductive assessments of the enemy’s perceived barbarity and tyrannical nature, while the people they govern are defined without agency. Fourth, I suggest Bush manufactured the Self in terms of US values and benevolence. This culminated in the normative interaction between the Self and Other which was essentially a narrative of rescue. Historians have frequently used discourse analysis to describe and analyse the ‘War on Terror’. English professor Sandra Silberstein offered a compelling analysis of the evolution of the ‘War on Terror’ narrative as it started to be produced as an act of war, as opposed to one of criminality. She gave particular emphasis to assessing the president’s capacity to influence the symbolic terrains of nationhood by interrogating Bush speeches in the aftermath of 9/11.1 Contemporary philosopher Arshin Adib-Moghaddam looked primarily on the interaction between imperial discourse informed by Orientalist thinking and torture practices of the US military. 2 Other studies have conducted gendered and Orientalist analyses simultaneously, finding instances where Muslim women have been produced as agents by US discourse. This was limited, however, to when there was perceived intelligence, military, or law enforcement utility to their agency.3 Studies typically found (re)identification of subjects (terrorists, dictators, oppressed masses, saviour militaries, democratic supporters at home, and international allies) was central to discourses due to their function in preserving relational power structures and symbolic national border demarcation.4 The international studies scholar Maryam Khalid’s extensive work assessed the implications of identity production on the symbolic boundaries of the nation.5 She finds performances of hypermasculinity necessitated performances of femininity. Nurturing but militarised mothers offered this domestically, but the repressed subjects in Iraq and Afghanistan functioned as the feminised groups that enabled saviour narratives.6 Discourse around Afghanistan was de-historicised and de-contextualised in order for these narratives to maintain a façade of credibility. 7 This detachment and simplification will be evident in the rhetorical strategies assessed later. Drawing on philosopher Michel Foucault’s archaeological analysis model, I will treat discourse as a ‘monument’, rather than allegory or a window into a hidden-from-the-surface ideology.8 Functionally, this is not an attempt at elucidating Bush’s motives, intent, or worldview but rather describing the temporally specific discourse. These particular speeches evidence cases of truth production that constitute an expression of power.9 Discourse forms part of a strategy of struggle in power relations.10 In this light, I view the Bush speeches not just as a strategy in preserving US hegemony over the Middle East, but also strengthening the presidential office and reinforcing relations with allies. They augmented other expressions of US power; military and economic coercive capacity, for instance. These understandings give rise to questions like, how has power affected the kinds of truths that have been produced by political actors? And, how has truth production involved identification of groups with differing ability to exercise power? Orientalism is a system of knowledge that describes the relationship of power, discourse, and identity in interactions between the Occident and the Orient. Through (re)naming, essentialising, homogenising, and describing, the Orient was produced as backward, incapable of self-government, having unrecognisable sensuality, and ahistorical.11 Binaries were instrumental in creating both distance and solidarity between subject and agent, East and West, colonised and coloniser, coloured and white, Other and Self.12 My analysis will be situated in this paradigm by exploring the ways in which Orientalist narratives are evident in Bush speeches, and how identities are produced in order to legitimise his ‘War on Terror’. Terrorist organisations and governments of states in which they operate constituted the enemy group when Bush said, ‘We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them’. 13 Establishing that there is ‘no neutral ground’, Bush prescribed regimented positions that onlooking states must
align themselves with.14 These statements came in the month from the beginning of the ‘War on Terror’, a time in which identifying an enemy is essential to convince a constituency a war is necessary. Bush predicted few states will resist the gravitational effect of US hegemony for they will be taking a ‘lonely path’ should they do so.15 In the infamous State of the Union Speech in early 2002, Bush expressed a reductive analysis of problematic states thus undoing a growing diplomatic thaw with his targets, Iran in particular. In a moment when the nation required villains to legitimise their status of global order enforcer, Iran ‘exports terror’ and Iraq ‘support[s] terror’ which earned them qualification into the ‘axis of evil’, while North Korea was homogenised into this group for seeking ‘weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens’.16 The differences in each states’ relationship to terrorism, however, was ignored. Such rhetoric conflated the three states with non-state terrorist organisations and demarcated the enemy.17 Furthermore, Bush worked hard to compartmentalise the perceived perpetrators of terrorism from the people they govern. They were described as having discrete and oppositional qualities and should be addressed separately. Dealing with the former first, Bush identified them as the enemy in the ‘War on Terror’ and were produced as barbarous and tyrannical. Bush produced the enemy as barbaric by referring to Iraq as a ‘regime’, led by ‘thugs’ and ‘assassins’.18 Criminality was fostered in the Middle East, he argues, which was a ‘place of tyranny and despair and anger’.19 This trope of Arabs as outlaws who occupy territory where war was pervasive obstructed humanising discourse and acknowledgement of diversity. 20 Bush imbued the terrorists with animalistic qualities, they ‘burrow deeper into caves’, further divorcing the Other from humanity. 21 A case of a US soldier’s decapitation in Iraq demonstrated, for Bush, ‘contempt for all the rules of warfare’ which illustrated fundamental value-dissonance between the two civilisations - one governed by rules based on ethics and humanity versus another by medieval practices and cruelty. 22 This was beyond the ‘bounds of civilized behaviour’ which further indicated this as a point of civilizational contact wherein the civilised/ uncivilised binary aligns with the West/Rest. 23 The speech was delivered at a US Army War College, perhaps Bush highlighted such differences to minimise the potential for young soldiers to express moral objections when deployed and being asked to kill. This barbarity is, for Bush, experienced most acutely by the common people who live under governments in Iraq and Afghanistan that exercise rule with unforgiving tyranny. As ‘enemies of reform’ Bush suggested dogmatic stagnation defines the Other. 24 By bringing attention to the ‘tortured children’ and ‘mother huddled over dead children’ under Saddam Hussein’s administration, Bush suggested archaic and violent tools of social control were commonplace in Iraq. 25 Knowing the homogenising nature of Bush rhetoric, this should be seen as a racializing strategy. Khalid’s work is also helpful in unpacking these characterisations. Forming a national family unit, the children and mothers are vulnerable and subjected to violence. Therefore, they are not just racialized, but also feminised in relation to the masculinised, tyrannical government that inflicts violence and oppresses. 26 The masculinist construction of governments in Iraq and Afghanistan is central to the position the US builds for itself. Now to the representation of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who, to Bush, were constituted in a discrete and oppositional relationship to their respective governments. The first key elements to their characterisation was a depersonalized, homogeneous group who are subject to (not agents of ) change. Through his statement ‘mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes’, 27 Bush projected a prohibitive lack of agency onto Afghanistan in feminized terms. In doing so at a State of the Union speech, where his audience is expansive, Bush draws attention to the moral imperative for the US to escalate their military engagements. The narrative of manipulation of the common people by a malevolent administration is further demonstrated in parallels he draws between the ‘War on Terror’ and the Cold War when the US helped Germans ‘resist the designs of the Soviet Union’. 28At the 2004 State of the Union, Iraqis were reduced to nothing when Bush said, ‘thousands of men and women and children vanished into the sands’.29 The metaphor of a nondescript group of people dissolving into the earth, in the region defined by conflict, reveals visceral degradation of individuality. Bush prohibited any capacity for narratives to be authored by Iraqis by producing them as universally oppressed and invisible to history. Functionally, it also provided the moral platform Americans needed to legitimise the Iraq invasion. It came as support for the War was in decline: three different polls (Pew, CBS/New York Times, CNN Gallup) asking whether the US did the right thing in invading Iraq found a 10-15% drop in support in the previous twelve months.30 This left Bush scrambling to reaffirm characterisations of Iraqis to justify the invasion. The second projection Bush made onto Iraqis and Afghans was of a group that exercises a degree of agency and vision, but with substantial guidance from the West. Ostensibly, the second motif might even contradict the first, but this is undermined by the military and commercial utility that contextualised the instances where it is demonstrated. There were ‘brave’ Iraqis who were ‘staying in the fight’ against terror. The ‘patriots’ were the ones who were securing ‘freedom’.31 They constituted the ‘Good Muslim’ character type who, according to literature scholar Susan Jeffords, were produced as such due to their receptivity to Western tutelage.32 The Iraqis who were ‘translating the great works of democracy into Arabic’ also illustrated the necessity of Western guidance; Iraq would be incapable of democratic governance were it not furnished with Occidental political theory.33 Bush asserted he had ‘trust’ in the Iraqi people shortly before highlighting a ‘stable environment’ for ‘businesses’ and ‘jobs’ as the things they want most.34 This reduced the agency Iraqis could exercise as proportionate to the economic utility they demonstrated. Constructing the Other in this way necessitated certain productions of the Self to make sense relationally. Bush constructed the agenda of the US as a champion of liberty and democracy. The afternoon of 9/11 Bush said the US was the ‘brightest beacon for freedom’ and that nothing could keep this ‘light from shining’, establishing the US
as a world leader in perpetuity.35 Repeating ‘we’ to collocate ‘freedom and democracy’ attaches the US to those ideals in binary contrast with the Other who was inseparable from ‘bitterness and terror’.36 Entrenching the US’ relationship to power was the invocation of religious imperatives for liberty spreading, ‘freedom is not America’s gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty God’s gift to every man and woman in this world’.37 In concert with the light motif, this legitimised the US identity as a custodian of divinity. It also gives rise to a ‘responsibility’ to ‘fight freedom’s fight’.38 Contextualising policy objectives with religious character functioned to generate support from pious citizens; it was more difficult to challenge gifts granted by God than state policy. Bush also produced the US as a benevolent actor with ‘no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire’.39 However, Khalid identified the dissemination of liberal internationalism as the point of convergence of US values and imperialism.40 This was because Bush established US values to be universal, ‘every human heart [has] the desire to live in freedom’.41 In turn, this justified exercising violence to realise this universality. The strength of the US to play this role stemmed from their willingness to ‘mentor a child’, ‘feed the hungry’, and ‘find shelter for the homeless’. 42Beyond charitable, this paternalistic rhetoric reinforced the dynamics of dominant Self over submissive Other. Bush thanked the ‘women’ who constituted an ‘army of compassion’ active in a charitable organisation called Operation Support Our Troops.43 In doing so, he militarised benevolence in gendered terms. This serves to construct the ‘War on Terror’ as a complete approach; that is, the feminised groups remain at home from where they bolstered the masculinised armed forces in their adventures in the Middle East. Masculinised actors necessitate femininity to be produced so the former can exist relationally.44 The ‘War on Terror’ was not just for the defence of US national security but functioned to preserve narratives of their (farcical) status as the protector of the oppressed and deliverer of goodwill. Having laboured to construct prohibitive binaries, compartmentalise the Other, and produce the Self in such positive light, Bush was able to build certain narratives about the normative interaction between the former and the latter. Primarily, they centred around the US as the deliverer of justice and freedom. Bush produced the transfer of these abstract concepts as tangible and one-directional thanks to the military who were ‘bringing hope to the oppressed’ while simultaneously ‘delivering justice to the violent’.45 Furthermore, justice became branded as ‘American justice’, thus (re)asserting US value centrism at the exclusion of justice as defined by Iraqis or Afghans.46 Bush’s vision of justice was not tarnished by the revelations of torture in Abu Ghraib, as it did ‘not represent the America that I know’.47 He went on to proclaim perpetrators would be ‘brought to justice’, thus establishing justice as a site or destination.48 This functions to present Abu Ghraib as simply a deviation from the clear path to justice, rather than a case that undermined the values central to the narrative of Self. Adib-Moghaddam referred to the practice of bio-power in Abu Ghraib being exercised according to an imperialist, clash of civilisations narrative.49 While Foucault addressed the ritualisation of the hanging in public view as legitimising violence of the state and simultaneously glorifying the criminal subject, the attention of the media and president in proliferating images of the victims in Abu Ghraib functioned to the same effect.50 It reproduced US power over anonymous bodies as substitutions for the homogenised groups they come from. Finally, Bush authored a narrative in which the US rescued people living under perceived tyrannical government as an exercise in civilizational aggrandisement. For Bush, pervasive ‘fanaticism’ in the Middle East provided an imperative for the US to rectify this ‘tragedy of history’.51 He described the collective death of the Afghan nation only ‘coming to life again’ as the Taliban was removed from power.52 Beyond the metaphorical implications of the death of the nation (passive, without voice, from another time), Bush also aligned his ideological binaries with spatial regions. ‘Tyranny and murder’ define not only the Taliban, but the place they govern and the people who cohabit the region.53 The ‘realm of liberty’, in contrast, was constituted of the states with a functioning democracy.54 When the oppositional domains ‘clashed’ in Afghanistan, Bush produced the contest as a zero-sum game.55 This reductive narrative echoed Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilisations’ thesis wherein civilisation-consciousness and irrefutable cultural difference increase the likelihood of conflict between the ‘West versus the Rest’.56 Bush seemed to take up Huntington’s suggestions for Western foreign policy in maintaining military dominance over rival civilisations as well as supporting states and institutions that reflected Western values.57 In this light, producing rescue narratives legitimised behaviour that sought to preserve US dominance, while generating consensus for the cause presented as noble and responsible. Ultimately, such strategies failed to preserve the support generated in the early days of the ‘War on Terror’. After support peaked at 70-75% in early 2003, polls revealed a steady decline in approval until 2006 after which it plateaued at 30-45%.58 Bush legitimised the ‘War on Terror’ by projecting essentialised narratives onto the Other and the Self. When the enemy Other was barbarous and tyrannical against the subservient but allied Other, rescue narratives were justified through religious imperatives, civilizational clashes, and perceived necessity of Western tutelage. All of these factors functioned to manufacture support domestically and globally for US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush’s exercise in knowledge production evidenced and augmented the power privilege the US experienced. The knowledge attached to the Self and Other were reiterations of imperial relations and functioned to preserve US hegemony.
Endnotes 1 Sandra Silberstein, War of Words: Language, Politics and 9/11 (New York: Routledge, 2002), 7. 2 Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, “Remnants of Empire: Civilisation, Torture, and Racism in the War on Terrorism,” in U.S. Foreign Policy and the Other, eds. Michael Patrick Cullinane and David Ryan (New York: Berghan Books, 2015), 228. 3 Nicola Pratt, “Weaponising Feminism for the ‘War on Terror’, Versus Employing Strategic Silence,” Critical Studies on Terrorism, 6, no. 2, (2013): 329. 4 Brian Meadows, “Distancing and Showing Solidarity via Metaphor and Metonymy in Political Discourse: A Critical Study of American Statements on Iraq During the Years 20042005,” Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines 1, no. 2 (2007): 8; Heather Ashley Hayes, Violent Subjects and Rhetorical Cartography in the Age of the Terror Wars (New York: Routledge, 2016), 133; Susan Jeffords, “ Terror, the Imperial Presidency, and American Heroism,” in Orientalism and War, eds. Tarak Barkawi and Ketih Stanski (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 69. 5 Maryam Khalid, Gender, Orientalism, and the ‘War on Terror’: Representation, Discourse, and Intervention in Global Politics, (New York: Routledge, 2017), 64. 6 Khalid, Gender, Orientalism, and the ‘War on Terror’, 94. 7 Khalid, Gender, Orientalism, and the ‘War on Terror’, 108. 8 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Routledge, 2002, 155. 9 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Random House, 1977), 27 10 Michel Foucault, “ The Subject and Power,” Critical Inquiry, 8, no. 4 (Summer 1982), 794. 11 Edward Said, Orientalism (London: Penguin Books, 2003). 12 Said, Orientalism, 327. 13 George W. Bush, “Address to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks,” 11 September 2001, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ documents/address-the-nation-the-terrorist-attacks. 14 George W. Bush, “Address to the Nation Announcing Strikes Against Al Qaida Training Camps and Taliban Military Instillations in Afghanistan,” 7 October 2001, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.presidency. ucsb.edu/documents/address-the-nation-announcingstrikes-against-al-qaida-training-camps-and-talibanmilitary. 15 Bush, “Address to the Nation Announcing Strikes Against Al Qaida Training Camps and Taliban Military Instillations in Afghanistan,” October 2001. 16 George W. Bush, “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union,” 29 January 2002, American Presidency Project, available at https://www. presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/address-before-jointsession-the-congress-the-state-the-union-22. 17 Bruce Cummins, Ervand Abrahamian, and Moshe Ma’oz, Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth About North Korea, Iran and Syria (New York: The New Press, 2004), 1. 18 “Interview with Alhurra Television,” 5 May 2004, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.
presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/interview-with-alhurratelevision. 19 George W. Bush, “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union,” 20 January 2004, American Presidency Project, available at https://www. presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/address-before-jointsession-the-congress-the-state-the-union-24. 20 Edward Said, Culture & Imperialism (Random House: London, 1994), 386. 21 Bush, “Strikes Against Al Qaida,” October 2001. 22 George W. Bush, “Remarks at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania,” 24 May 2004, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.presidency. ucsb.edu/documents/remarks-the-united-states-army-warcollege-carlisle-pennsylvania. 23 “Remarks at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania,” May 2004. 24 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 25 George W. Bush, “Remarks at Fort Lewis, Washington,” 18 June 2004, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/remarksfort-lewis-washington. 26 Khalid, Gender, Orientalism and the ‘War on Terror’, 57. 27 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2002. 28 George W. Bush, “Remarks at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee,” 10 February 2003, American Presidency Project, available at https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/remarksthe-national-religious-broadcasters-convention-nashvilletennessee. 29 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 30 Ole Rudolf Holsti. American Public Opinion on the Iraq War (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 39. 31 Bush, “Fort Lewis,” June 2004. 32 Jeffords, “ Terror, the Imperial Presidency, and American Heroism,” 77. 33 Bush, “Fort Lewis,” June 2004. 34 Bush, “Alhurra Television,” May 2004. 35 Bush, “ Terrorist Attacks,” September 2001. 36 Bush, “National Religious Broadcasters,” February 2003. 37 Bush, “National Religious Broadcasters,” February 2003. 38 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2002. 39 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 40 Khalid, Gender Orientalism and the ‘War on Terror’, 43. 41 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 42 Bush, “Fort Lewis,” June 2004. 43 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 44 Khalid, Gender, Orientalism, and the ‘War on Terror’, 32. 45 Bush, “State of the Union,” January 2004. 46 Bush, “National Religious Broadcasters,” February 2003. 47 Bush, “Alhurra Television,” May 2004. 48 Bush, “Alhurra Television,” May 2004. 49 Abid-Moghaddam, “Remnants of Empire,” 232. 50 Foucault, Discipline & Punish, 68. 51 Bush, “Army War College,” May 2004. 52 Bush, “Army War College,” May 2004. 53 Bush, “Army War College,” May 2004.
LEST WE REMEMBER
The Controversies of the Darwin Bombing Tori Waqanaceva-Simpson
The bombing of Darwin in February 1942 exemplifies a national process of forgetting and remembering, with the construction of particular narratives – such as ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’ – seeking to alter contemporary views of the past. Details regarding the event, particularly the number of casualties, continue to generate competing claims amongst historians and the media.1 Furthermore, recent proposals have called for national recognition of the bombings, which up until the 1990s had largely been absent. 2 This form of forgetting, which historian Elizabeth Rechniewski offers is more of a “collective shame” originated with reports concerning the looting and abandonment of Darwin following the attack.3 Arguments have also been made regarding the lack of public knowledge surrounding the many other bombings which took place shortly after Darwin, and their place in Australian commemoration.4 By examining how the bombing of Darwin has been remembered, beginning with the initial reports, the subsequent Lowe investigation, the absence of commemoration, and the recently renewed attempts at recognition and remembrance, the event’s difficult and contested place in Australian memory will be demonstrated. The contested claims, from casualty figures and fears of invasion to accusations of a government coverup will be presented before exploring the nature of national memory including how the bombing of Darwin affected Australian identity, and why there has been an active attempt at commemorating the event in recent years. By exploring these themes, it will become evident that the bombing of Darwin was an important event with continuing competing narratives and an unresolved place in Australian memory. Initial reports following the bombing of Darwin reflected the resulting chaos the raids caused. Newspapers were quick to confirm the attack, however the information reported was vague and often conflicting.5 Prime Minister John Curtin issued a statement calling it a “severe blow,” reflecting the extent of the damage dealt which included the sinking of U.S. destroyer USS Peary.6 The government also reported that casualties were listed at 15, which proved to be a severe underestimation. 7 The public criticised Curtin on the lack of information supplied, to which Curtin reasoned that it was to prevent the Japanese from determining the “degree of success” of the raid.8 Furthermore, it is possible that Curtin wanted to avoid creating unnecessary panic, instead focusing on mobilising Australians toward the war effort.9 The Curtin government’s response to the bombing reflected the limitations of leadership and communication to accurately obtain closer approximations, and adequately quell confusion surrounding the event. While initial newspaper articles reported ‘acts of heroism,’ stories of looting and abandonment also circulated. 10 Indeed, the Lowe Commission, which was appointed to investigate the February 19th raids, referred to looting and confusion regarding evacuation procedures, suggesting that the chaos of the air-raid was compounded by poor leadership and inadequate defence systems.11 The report also revised the initial casualty figure from 15 to 243.12 This information, however, was not released to the public until after the war, whereby it only confirmed the reports of looting and panic previously published.13 This narrative of panic, destruction, and looting pervaded Australians’ remembrance of the Darwin bombing. Unlike the Gallipoli campaign, which was a failure due to poor foreign management and not reflective of Australia’s military capacity, Darwin could be - and was - blamed solely on Australian leadership.14 Establishing recognition of the event after the war proved difficult, especially outside of Darwin. Indeed, five years after the raid few commemoration ceremonies were held with The Telegraph reporting that only four people had shown up to Brisbane’s Shrine of Remembrance, which was locked to the public.15 However, the fifth anniversary held in Darwin witnessed the laying of wreaths and speeches, including government secretary Mr. Leydin who recounts “on that day, Australians were made aware in a shocking and most sudden way how ill-prepared they were to defend themselves.” 16 While the bombing of Darwin remained important to locals, nationally the event failed to gain recognition, eclipsed by other less controversial commemorations such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. Indeed, Minister for External Territories Paul Hasluck expressed national sentiment in 1955, when he referred to the raid as a day of “national shame.” 17 What occurred throughout the rest of the twentieth-century was a process of passive forgetting, specifically a ‘humiliated silence’ or ‘collective shame.’18 Furthermore, acts of commemoration, particularly in Darwin, suffered from a rapidly changing and transient population compounded further by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.19 As historian Elizabeth Rechniewski concludes, this left “little continuity of generational or collective memory.” 20 While ex-military and veterans groups such as the Darwin Defenders – established in 1999 – sought to increase national recognition, historians Tom Lewis and Peter Ingman note that an overall lack of education regarding the bombing has also contributed to an absence of commemoration. 21 Renewed remembrance attempts took form following a Parliamentary debate in 2011 regarding establishing
February 19 as “Bombing of Darwin Day.” 22 This in turn generated political advocacy, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard attending the 70th anniversary of the bombing, referring to it as “Australia’s Pearl Harbor.” 23 Interestingly, Governor-General Quentin Bryce stated at the ceremony that the bombing was “of immense significance that stands alongside Australia Day and Anzac Day in the nation’s hearts and minds.” 24 What may be more accurate, however, are Bryce’s statements regarding the bombing’s effect on Australia’s reliance shifting from Britain to the U.S. 25 This conforms to the ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’ narrative, expressed in 2011 by U.S. President Barack Obama while visiting Darwin. 26 The parallels between Darwin and Pearl Harbor are indeed numerous – they occurred 10 weeks apart, were carried out by the same pilots, and used similar tactics – making comparisons between the events particularly persuasive. 27 However, because this parallel has only now been implemented by leaders it is possible that recent commemoration activities may also serve to facilitate Australia-U.S. relations. 28 Alternatively, remembrance of the bombing of Darwin may be linked to the pervasive trend of ‘militarising’ Australian identity, performed most notably by Prime Minister John Howard toward the Anzac myth. 29 While there may be political motives regarding the recent attempts at commemorating Darwin, newspapers, movies, and tourism organisations have also contributed to a resurgence throughout the past decade. The 2008 film ‘Australia’ features the bombing amidst a love story, with dramatic visuals re-enacting the raid.30 While the film certainly contributed to the revival of commemorating this event, Lewis and Ingman argue that the casualty figure and government coverup accusations listed at the end of the film have furthered the event’s contested claims.31 Recent newspaper articles have also circulated controversial claims, with The Australian reporting on the 70th anniversary that “when war came to our shores... Australians behaved abominably.” 32 However, most other news outlets featured articles which did not include reports of looting or abandonment, instead focusing on the lack of national recognition, or parallels with Pearl Harbor.33 Remembrance of the bombing of Darwin has also emerged through tourism campaigns, such as an interactive Royal Flying Doctor Service experience, and a heritage tour operated by the Northern Territory’s Tourism Top End.34 Rechniewski offers that this is an example of ‘war tourism,’ which “seeks to exploit the increase in visits by Australian tourists to the sites of battles in Northern France, Gallipoli and the Kokoda track.” 35 While these organisations and media reports have contributed to a renewed remembrance of the bombing of Darwin, they also present a predominant shift away from the shame associated with the raid.36 Furthermore, the other bombings during WWII which targeted over a dozen northern towns, including Broome with 70 casualties, are still largely forgotten.37 The bombing of Darwin, which has undergone a process of ‘collective forgetting,’ has now re-entered Australian memory although the controversies and contested claims surrounding the event are still unresolved. In order to understand the challenges presented when remembering the bombing of Darwin, the contested claims – that of threats of invasion, casualty figures, and a government coverup – will be briefly discussed. An article produced by the Parliament of Australia marking the 75th anniversary of the bombing explains the large-scale confused evacuation as a result of “fearing a Japanese invasion.” 38 However, at the Australian War Memorial anniversary in 2006, historian Peter Stanley refutes the claim that the Japanese had planned to invade Australia, with the bombing of Darwin being the first step.39 Furthermore, Lewis and Ingman address the ‘myth of invasion’, explaining that the Japanese did not have plans to invade, given the size of the continent and the precondition of capturing Port Moresby, which did not eventuate.40 Rather the threat was used by the Australian and Japanese governments for propaganda.41 The ‘fear of invasion’ narrative has therefore been used as a way to explain the behaviour of those at Darwin during the bombing, and also perhaps as a way for veterans to situate themselves in the memory of Australian military involvement.42 The contested claims of an accurate casualty figure and of a government coverup continue to pervade discussions surrounding the bombing of Darwin. As noted earlier, the initial casualty figure of 15 was revised following the Lowe Commission’s report, which estimated 243 deaths. However, in reassessing the records Paul Rosenzweig argues that the Lowe Commission made counting errors, concluding that the death toll is more likely 252.43 Peter Grose asserts that somewhere between 310-320 is more accurate, given the difficulties of identifying bodies lost in the water.44 While these figures are not extraordinarily different, eyewitness accounts suggest 600-1000 people had been killed.45 As Lewis and Ingman, Grose, and Rosenzweig conclude, if the casualty figure had been higher there would certainly be more calls for missing friends and relatives, and a proportionally higher number wounded. 46This perceived discrepancy has been propagated by groups such as the Darwin Defenders, who argue that there was a “media blackout on the number of casualties,” suggesting that the government was involved in covering up the impact of the raid.47 It has been noted previously that Prime Minister Curtin reasoned that only vague details were sufficient to prevent the Japanese from determining the success of the raids.48 Furthermore, Rechniewski suggests that: “It is highly probable that the delay in giving out information and the lack of frankness flowed not only from the desire not to give information about the success of the raids to the enemy but from the revelations of the lack of civilian and military preparedness... so the government had good reason to downplay the impact of the bombings, to preserve the morale of the population and confidence in the military.” 49 While there was a level of government control regarding information made available to the public, it was unlikely the sole cause of the subsequent absence of commemoration. Rather, the release of the Lowe report after the war revealed the military and civilian failings, contributing to a ‘collective shame.’50 These contested claims of invasion, casualty figures, and a government coverup continue to blur the facts surrounding the bombing of Darwin, challenging attempts at national commemoration with competing narratives. Efforts to incorporate the bombing of Darwin into national memory have been bolstered by a ‘militarisation’ of Australian history.51 This trend was most successfully implemented by Prime Minister John Howard, who aligned
Australian identity with that of the Anzacs, developing what historian Matt McDonald has termed a “muscular nationalism.” 52 The mythologisation of Anzac has not only created an idealised Australian – that of a white patriotic male – but it also serves to marginalise and control alternative narratives which do not ‘fit in’ with the accepted norm.53 This is perhaps why the bombing of Darwin struggled to gain national significance throughout the twentiethcentury, and why recent attempts have largely avoided the controversial aspects of looting and desertion, as well as the significant damage the raid caused due to inadequate defences and poor leadership.54 To bring these issues to the forefront would be to challenge Australian identity. As Peter Grose argues, looting and abandonment were common during all wars, however Australians engaging in these actions proved that they were no better than their contemporaries.55 Moreover, the lack of capable leadership and prepared defence systems resulting in a military failure would directly challenge the narrative of a militarised Australian identity.56 This in turn helps to understand the ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’ narrative, whereby a larger, more aggressive enemy dealt significant damage and inflicted considerable casualties.57 This narrative perhaps indirectly suggests that any level of leadership or preparation would not have been able to prevent the devastation inflicted, and any actions taken by soldiers and civilians could be excused in response to the attack. While there are considerable similarities between Pearl Harbor and Darwin, Lewis and Ingman argue that the “important differences should be emphasised, not minimised, to do historical justice to both of the attacks.” 58 Through these attempts at creating an alternative narrative of the bombing of Darwin, it seems the very human response which occurred has been replaced by an idealised, and often exclusionary depiction of an Australian archetype. Therefore, the recent attempts at commemorating the bombing of Darwin, which avoid the controversial aspects of the raid and emphasise the relation to Pearl Harbor, have generated further controversy surrounding the militarisation of Australian history and identity. By examining each stage of the remembrance of the Darwin bombing, from initial newspaper articles, the Lowe Commission’s report, the absence of commemoration due to a ‘collective shame’, and the recently renewed attempts involving comparisons to Pearl Harbor, it is evident that this event is still unresolved in Australian memory. The contested claims, including a fear of invasion, competing casualty figures, and a government coverup were addressed, noting that the proliferation of these claims continues to challenge commemoration. Lastly, it was argued that the resurgence of commemorating the bombing of Darwin has been bolstered by a militarisation of Australian history, originating with the mythologisation of Anzacs. The bombing of Darwin, through its contested claims and the narratives propagated in recent commemoration, presents a contentious issue for how best to remember the event into the future.
Endnotes 1 Tom Lewis and Peter Ingman, Carrier Attack Darwin 1942: The Complete Guide to Australia’s own Pearl Harbor (Kent Town, South Australia: Avonmore Books, 2013), 305-313. 2 “When War Came to Australia,” Darwin Defenders, accessed September 23, 2019, http://darwindefenders.com/. 3 Elizabeth Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering the Darwin Bombings,” E-rea, 10 (2012), https://doaj.org/article/5e679c9e00b941499d93a1e7d28e880c; Douglas Lockwood, Australia Under Attack: The Bombing of Darwin – 1942 (Chatswood, NSW: New Holland Publishers, 2013), 135-137, 142, 167-168. 4 Mitchell Abram, “Why don’t more Australians know about the bombing of Darwin?” ABC News, accessed September 23, 2019. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-19/curious-darwinbombing-of-darwin-learn-history-books/10820858. 5 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 316-317; “Stop Press: Darwin Bombing,” Barrier Miner, February 19, 1942, https://trove.nla. gov.au/newspaper/article/48379632. 6 “Latest Telegrams: Darwin Bombed. Prime Minister Curtin’s Statement,” Western Herald, February 20, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov. au/newspaper/article/142140523; Lockwood, Australia Under Attack, 46. 7 “The Darwin Air Raids: Full Scale Blitz,” Townsville Daily Bulletin, February 21, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/63566621; The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia (Report by Mr Justice Lowe), Commission of Enquiry Concerning the Circumstances Connected with the Attack made by Japanese Aircraft at Darwin on 19th February, 1942. http://www.territorystories.nt.gov. au/jspui/handle/10070/83913. 8 ““Darwin Raid: “Fullest Information Disclosed”,” The Canberra Times, February 24, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/2590317; Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 315-317. 9 “Latest Telegrams,” Western Herald; “Darwin Bombing
Fortifies Nation’s Grim War Effort,” Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, February 23, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov. au/newspaper/article/152805179; Elspeth Frew and Leanne White, “Commemorative Events and National Identity: Commemorating Death and Disaster in Australia,” Event Management 19 (2015): 516. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599515X14465748512722; Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 13. 10 “The Darwin Air Raids: Full Scale Blitz,” Townsville Daily Bulletin; “Darwin Bombing: Manunda Battered,” The West Australian, March 12, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/47184476; “Darwin Bombing: Anti-aircraft Gunners Praised,” The West Australian, February 25, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/47182265; “Looting at Darwin Alleged,” The Age, February 27, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/205286700; “Editorial: What Happened at Darwin?” The Courier-Mail, April 17, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/5012251. 11 Commission of Enquiry, (Report by Mr Justice Lowe), 38. 12 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 317; “Darwin Raid: Report Received,” Daily Examiner, March 31, 1942, https://trove.nla.gov.au/ newspaper/article/192468006. 13 “Darwin Raid Panic: Leadership Blamed,” The Telegraph, October 5, 1945, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/188752107. 14 Matt McDonald, “Remembering Gallipoli: Anzac, the Great War and Australian Memory Politics,” Australian Journal of Politics and History 63, no. 3 (2017), 408. DOI:10.1111/ajph.12372; Commission of Enquiry, (Report by Mr Justice Lowe), 38. 15 “4 Commemorate Darwin Bombing,” The Telegraph, February 19, 1947, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/186694835. 16 “Darwin Remembers: First Bombing Raid,” The West Australian, February 20, 1947, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/46264005. 17 ““Darwin’s Day of Shame,” Says Mr. Hasluck” The Canberra Times, March 26, 1955. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/91195581. 18 Paul Connerton, “Seven Types of Forgetting,” Memory Studies
1, no. 1 (2008): 67-68. DOI: 10.1177/1750698007083889. 19 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 17. 20 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 17. 21 “When War Came to Australia,” Darwin Defenders; Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 319-321. 22 “House Debates Monday, 31 October 2011. Bombing of Darwin,” Open Australia, accessed September 23, 2019. https://www. openaustralia.org.au/debates/?id=2011-10-31.156.2. 23 “First national commemoration for the bombing of Darwin,” PM Transcripts, accessed September 23, 2019. https://pmtranscripts. pmc.gov.au/release/transcript-18392. 24 “Darwin bombing was ‘our Pearl Harbour’: Gillard” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 19, 2012. https://www.smh.com.au/ national/darwin-bombing-was-our-pearl-harbour-gillard-201202191tgr1.html. 25 “Darwin bombing was ‘our Pearl Harbour’: Gillard” February 2012. 26 “Remarks by President Obama to U.S. and Australian Service Members,” The White House, November 17, 2011. https:// obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/17/ remarks-president-obama-us-and-australian-service-members. 27 Lockwood, Australia Under Attack, 46-53; Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 284-285. 28 Frew and White, “Commemorative Events and National Identity,” 520. 29 McDonald, “Remembering Gallipoli,” 413. 30 G. Mac Brown, Catherine Knapman, and Baz Luhrmann, Australia, directed by Baz Luhrmann (Twentieth Century Fox, 2008); “Movie sheds light on first ever attack,” The Sydney Morning Herald, May 23, 2007. https://www.smh.com.au/national/movie-sheds-lighton-first-ever-attack-20070523-egd.html. 31 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 306. 32 “Darwin’s finger of shame points at military,” The Australian, February 10, 2012. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ inquirer/darwins-finger-of-shame-points-at-military/news-story/ c30933e17bfd9a29f7a1b059c39997f6. 33 “From the Archives: Two big air raids on Darwin,” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 12, 2019, https://www.smh. com.au/national/from-the-archives-two-big-air-raids-on-darwin20190218-p50ygv.html; Abram, “Why don’t more Australians know?”; “Darwin Bombing,” SBS: World News Australia, November 11, 2008, https://search-informit-com-au.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu. au/documentSummary;res=T VNEWS;dn=TEX20084502058; “Coalition seeks Darwin Bombing Day,” ABC News NT, September 20, 2011, https://search-informit-com-au.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/ documentSummary;res=TVNEWS;dn=TEF20113900257. 34 “Bombing of Darwin Harbour,” Royal Flying Doctor Service Darwin Tourist Facility, accessed September 24, 2019, http:// rfdsdarwin.com.au/bombing-of-darwin-harbour-february-19th-1942. 35 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 21. 36 See also official sources such as Richard Reid, Australia Under Attack: The Bombing of Darwin 1942, Canberra: Department of Veterans Affairs, 2007; and “Bombing of Darwin,” Australian War Memorial, accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.awm.gov.au/ collection/E84294. 37 “Battle for Australia,” Department of Veterans’ Affairs, accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/ files/about%20dva/media-centre/media-backgrounder/P020870-
Battle-for-Australia-backgrounder.pdf; Peter Grose, An Awkward Truth: The bombing of Darwin February 1942 (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2009), 205; Steven Schubert, “World War II attacks outside of Darwin need more recognition, historians say.” ABC News, February 16, 2017, accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.abc. net.au/news/2017-02-16/call-for-more-recognition-of-wwii-attacksoutside-of-darwin/8275498. 38 David Watt, “The 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin,” Parliament of Australia, accessed September 24, 2019. https:// www.aph.gov.au/About-Parliament/Parliamentary-Departments/ Parliamentary-Library/FlagPost/2017/February/Bombing-ofDarwin. 39 Peter Stanley, “What is the Battle for Australia?” Australian Army Journal, 4, no. 2 (2007):28; Charlie Lynn, “The Battle for Australia 1942-1945,” United Service 65, no. 4 (2014): 16, https://search-informit-com-au.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/ documentSummary;res=IELHSS;dn=781532529622887; “Education,” Darwin Defenders Association Melbourne Chapter, accessed September 24, 2019, http://darwindefenders.com/education/. 40 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 324-326. 41 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 325-326; Julie Roberts and Martin Young, “Transience, memory and induced amnesia: the reimagining of Darwin,” Journal of Australian Studies, 32, no. 1 (2008): 57, https://doi.org/10.1080/14443050801993818. 42 Lynn, “The Battle for Australia,” 16. 43 Paul Rosenzweig, “Darwin, 50 years on: a reassessment of the first raid casualties,” Journal of Northern Territory History, no 5 (1994): 10, https://search-informit-com-au.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/ documentSummary;res=IELAPA;dn=940807471. 44 Grose, An Awkward Truth, 193-193. 45 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 305-309. 46 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 313; Rosenzweig, “Darwin,” 10; Grose, An Awkward Truth, 191. 47 “Message for the Commemoration from Rear Admiral John Lord AM – Patron of the Melbourne Branch,” Darwin Defenders Association Melbourne Chapter, accessed September 24, 2019, http://darwindefenders.com/news/. See also: Frew and White, “Commemorative Events and National Identity,” 517. 48 ““Darwin Raid,” The Canberra Times; Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 315-317. 49 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 11. 50 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 15. 51 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 21. 52 McDonald, “Remembering Gallipoli,” 413. 53 Matt McDonald, ““Lest We Forget”: The Politics of Memory and Australian Military Intervention,” International Political Sociology, 4 (2010): 298-299, doi: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2010.00106.x. 54 Rechniewski, “Forgetting and Remembering,” para. 28; “76th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin: media release by the Hon Michael McCormack,” Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, accessed September 26, 2019. http://minister.dva.gov.au/mediareleases/2018/feb/va05.htm. 55 Grose, An Awkward Truth, 200, 204. 56 McDonald, “Remembering Gallipoli,” 412-413. 57 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 284-285; Lockwood, Australia Under Attack, 46. 58 Lewis and Ingman, Carrier Attack, 285.
GRAYDEN & MANSLAUGHTER, THE AUSTRALIAN FREEDOM RIDES & THE WAVE-HILL WALKOFF The Story Behind the 1967 Referendum’s Success Henry Sundram Trigger warnings: racism The Grayden Report and film Manslaughter, the Australian Freedom Rides and the Wave-Hill Walk Off heavily contributed to the success of the Australian 1967 Referendum. The 1967 Referendum resulted in a resoundingly positive outcome for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples regarding their recognition and place within Australian society, with 90.77% of the population voting ‘Yes’.1 The Referendum had three provisions that benefitted First Peoples. It removed derogatory sections of Australian Constitution pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it included them in the census and it brought them into federal legislative jurisdiction. 2 A series of high-profile events raised societal and media concern for the conditions experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The corresponding shift in societal values and attitudes of mainstream Australian culture allowed for the Referendum’s success. The 1956 Grayden Report and 1957 film Manslaughter stimulated awareness of the inadequate conditions faced by First Peoples and established a framework in which the 1967 Referendum could succeed. Charles Perkins’ 1965 Australian Freedom Rides furthered this changing social climate by exposing racism towards First Peoples that was prevalent nationwide. Finally, the 1966 Wave-Hill Walk Off provided White Australians an insight into a particular Aboriginal perspective and the prejudice they experienced, galvanising support for a successful Referendum. By stimulating White Australia’s awareness of First Peoples’ dire plight in the Laverton-Warburton Ranges, the 1956 Grayden Report and the 1957 documentary Manslaughter contributed to the success of the 1967 Referendum. A parliamentary investigation into the “Native Welfare Conditions in the Laverton-Warburton Range Area” 3 released the report and film, providing one of the first in-depth analyses of the welfare of an Aboriginal population. The document revealed the inadequate food, water, shelter, educational opportunities and healthcare First Peoples faced in the region and represented their experiences more broadly around Australia. At this time, Australian society was governed by the White Australia Policy which discriminated against non-White citizens, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Historian Henry Reynolds argued that the inadequacies experienced by First Peoples in the report and film were the product of “historical neglect” 4 coupled with a lack of societal awareness of First Peoples’ current predicament, rather than the overt legal racism of the White Australia Policy. Applying Reynolds’ argument, the Referendum’s success depended not on opposing a ‘nation-wide racism’, but rather on stimulating White Australia’s awareness of the underprivileged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ plight. The public’s consciousness was first pricked through the extensive publicising of Manslaughter in churches, trade unions and, importantly, television in major cities.5 This led historian Pamela Faye McGrath to describe it as “one of the earliest examples of [Aboriginal] activis[m]”.6 Despite earlier protests occurring, McGrath’s label described the significance of the report and film in providing a genuine opportunity to reshape White Australia’s perceptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and in doing so, established the framework for the 1967 Referendum’s success. As White Australia developed an understanding of the poor conditions and health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, societal attitudes shifted in favour of advancing First Peoples’ experiences in the Laverton-Warburton Ranges and more generally around Australia. Letters of protest were delivered to politicians, including Prime Minister Robert Menzies.7 Press articles were published that described the “horr[or]” 8 elicited from the documentary and report regarding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander position within society. The documentary and report also generated international media scrutiny for Australian practices towards First Peoples from countries such as Malaysia, New Zealand and England.9 The attention humiliated the federal government and damaged Australia’s international standing, resulting in the official statement “the film is not designed to give a balanced picture of the circumstances of aborigines in Australia”.10 The basis established by this international pressure and domestic attitudinal changes allowed for the success of the 1967 Referendum. Inspired by the American Freedom Rides of 1961, the Australian Freedom Rides, led by Charles Perkins contributed to the outcome of the 1967 Referendum by stimulating media and public awareness of the poverty in Aboriginal communities resulting from unjust treatment and administration. In February 1965, University of Sydney students from the Student Action for Aborigines group travelled through New South Wales campaigning against the poor conditions and obstacles experienced by rural First Peoples.11 Perkins sought to generate “creative tension” 12 by exposing instances of blatant racism towards First Peoples. The publicity of such events, raised by Perkins’ Rides, sought to make society and the federal government “uncomfortable” 13 and generate societal pressure for change. The attitudinal changes in Australian society that ultimately led to the success of the 1967 Referendum can be partly attributed to the Rides’ extensive publication of significant racism in towns such as Walgett and Moree. From
the beginning of the Rides, Perkins describes being “completely swamped” 14 by “all the newspapers, television and radio” 15 coverage which allowed the riders to highlight the racial discrimination and prejudice of Australian society to both the nation and the global community. Such attention was strategic with journalist Darce Cassidy riding on the bus and providing daily news feeds and updates.16 The media’s involvement extended to national coverage with cartoons like ‘Getting in the Swim’17 mocking racist practices and generating public awareness and discussion of the inequities faced by First Peoples. As author Noeline Briggs-Smith describes, “what Charlie did was let the rest of the nation know about racism and segregation, and that led towards the overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in 1967”.18 A notable example of the Rides’ media usage was in Moree where the Freedom Riders who were arguing for desegregating the town’s swimming pool were confronted and pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes by White townsfolk. The incident induced extensive media coverage across the country with local and international television crews such as the British Broadcasting Commission and Channel 7 drawing comparisons to racist American practices.19 The Freedom Rides exposed the systematic racism that existed in Australian society “to the severe embarrassment of many white townsfolk”. 20 The media’s involvement raised greater awareness and desire for the advancement of First Peoples amongst the White population, ultimately generating the momentum for the 1967 Referendum’s success. The 1966 Wave-Hill Walk Off contributed to the success of the 1967 Referendum by raising significant media and public awareness of the impoverished conditions faced by First Peoples. Gurindji elder Vincent Lingiari led the strike of 200 Gurindji stockmen who demanded improved labour conditions and pay. 21 The protest was the first publicised land rights claim in Australian history. Through their abilities in managing the land, the Gurindji provided the cattle stations’ workforce and underpinned the stations’ successful operation. However, they subsisted in squalor, evidenced by a 1945 report which revealed some were not paid even the Aboriginal wage – a minimum of 5 shillings a day. 22 The Gurindji’s protest contributed to the 1967 Referendum’s success as it moved from simply describing the situation experienced by First Peoples to directly taking action against such conditions by preventing the operation of White enterprise. The disruption generated by the Gurindji’s protest provided a platform for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to be effectively heard by the White population. This platform made the squalor and disempowerment experienced by First Peoples visible and facilitated an attitudinal change amongst White Australia, culminating in the Referendum. As described by historian Minoru Hokari, “the episode succeeded in gaining the wide public attention of contemporary Australia”. 23 The public perception of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was shifted through the Gurindji’s active publicization of their cause which involved nationwide visits and campaigns raising awareness. Such a shift was reflected in the contemporary media, such as by the supportive article ‘Boy! That’s still a territory word for aboriginals’ in the Melbourne Herald. 24 The Gurindji strikers gained high-profile support from politicians, lawyers and unionists, including the secretaries of Liquor and Allied Trades Union and the Transport Workers Union who described the “injustice[s] to our own native people [as doing] little to raise our national image throughout the world.” 25 These public expressions of solidarity encouraged attitudinal shifts in the broader White community. Over time, protests supporting the Gurindji increased, with arrests occurring and many students, churches and unions raising money for the effort. 26 The various protests and support generated for the Gurindji was indicative of a broader societal shift in White Australia’s perception of First Peoples. This social climate was conducive to a successful Referendum. The 1967 Referendum was underpinned by changes in White Australia’s perceptions and attitudes towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Such changes were inspired by the 1956 Grayden Report and 1957 Manslaughter film, the 1965 Australian Freedom Rides and the 1966 Wave-Hill Walk Off. Ultimately, the Referendum was the culmination of a huge reshape of traditional values and attitudes regarding First Peoples and their position and place in society. Such social changes were reflected by then Prime Minister Harold Holt who stated “[the discriminatory sections are] completely out of harmony with our national attitudes and modern thinking.” 27
Endnotes 1 Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Retroactive 10; Australian Curriculum for History. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons. Page 133. 2 Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Retroactive 10; Australian Curriculum for History. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons. Page 127. 3 Western Australian Government Select Committee. (1956). Report of the Select Committee Appointed to Inquire into Native Welfare Conditions in the Laverton-Warburton Range Area. Perth, Western Australia. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-52822465/view?partId=nla.obj97987675#page/n0/mode/1up. 4 Grieve Black, R. (2012). The Story of Australia. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books/about/ The-Story-of-Australia.html?id=UM2fAwAAQBAJ&rediresc=y. Page 11. 5 Faye McGrath, P. & Brooks, D. (2010, August 10). Their Darkest Hour: the films and photographs of William Grayden and the history of the ‘Warburton Range controversy’ of 1957. Aboriginal History, 34, 115-141, Retrieved from Australian National University. 6 Faye McGrath, P. & Brooks, D. (2010, August 10). Their Darkest Hour: the films and photographs of William Grayden and the history of the ‘Warburton Range controversy’ of 1957. Aboriginal History, 34115-141, Retrieved from Australian National University. 7 Lovall, K. (1957). Warburton Ranges Film, Manslaughter [Letter]. Canberra: National Archives of Australia. 8 Big Bayswater Meeting sees the most horrible film made in Australia. (1957, March 28). Melbourne Mercury. Retrieved from https://indigenousrights.net.au/resources/ documents/the-mercury-described-the-warburton-rangesfilm-as-the-most-horrible-film-made-in-australia. 9 Faye McGrath, P. & Brooks, D. (2010, August 10). Their Darkest Hour: the films and photographs of William Grayden and the history of the ‘Warburton Range controversy’ of 1957. Aboriginal History, 34115-141, Retrieved from Australian National University. 10 Townley, A. (1957). Acting Prime Minister replies to letter from Prime Minister Menzies’ constituents [Letter]. Melbourne, Victoria: National Archives of Australia. 11 Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Retroactive 10; Australian Curriculum for History. Milton,
Queensland: John Wiley & Sons. Page 127. 12 Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Retroactive 10; Australian Curriculum for History. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons. Page 128. 13 Perkins, C. (1975). A Bastard Like Me. Kew, Victoria, Melbourne: Griffin Press. 74. 14 Perkins, C. (1975). A Bastard Like Me. 74. 15 Perkins, C. (1975). A Bastard Like Me. 74. 16 Perkins, C. (1975). A Bastard Like Me. 86. 17 Frith, J. (1965). ‘Getting in the Swim!’ [Cartoon]. Retrieved from https://indigenousrights.net.au/resources/ documents/getting-in-the-swim!. 18 Campion, J. (2011, July 14). How Aboriginal Activism brought about change. Australian Geographic, Retrieved from https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/ history-culture/2011/07/how-aboriginal-activism-broughtabout-change/. 19 Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Retroactive 10; Australian Curriculum for History. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons. Page 127. 20 Shoemaker, A. (2004). Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988. Retrieved from https:// www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbkhp. Page 107. 21 Korff, J. (2019). Walk-off at Wave Hill: Birth of Aboriginal Land Rights. Retrieved from https://www.creativespirits. info/aboriginalculture/politics/aboriginal-people-strikewalk-off-at-wave-hill 22 Australian Broadcasting Commission, (A. (1968, August 17). The Wave Hill Walk-off: more than a wage dispute [Video file]. Retrieved from http://education.abc.net. au/home#!/media/105332/two-years-after-the-1966-wavehill-walk-off. 23 Hokari, M. (2000). From Wattie Creek to Wattie Creek: an oral historical approach to the Gurindji Walk-off. Aboriginal History, 24, 98-166. Retrieved from JSTOR. 24 Boy! That’s still a territory word for aboriginals. (1965, February 22). Melbourne Herald, 10-10, Retrieved from National Museum Australia. 25 The strike at Wave Hill. (1966, September 3). The Canberra Times, 2-2, Retrieved from National Library Of Australia; Trove. 26 Hokari, M. (2000). From Wattie Creek to Wattie Creek: an oral historical approach to the Gurindji Walk-off. Aboriginal History, 24, 98-166. Retrieved from JSTOR. 27 Museum of Modern Democracy. (2017). Yes: the Ongoing Story of the 1967 Referendum. Retrieved from
TO MURDER A STATUE
Mythological Re-Imaginings and Black Lives Matter Daisy Norfolk Trigger warnings: racism The recent destruction and vandalism of colonial sculptures across the globe both within and external of the Black Lives Matter movement have elicited a series of responses in regards to issues of race, marginalisation, and whether or not people should be destroying colonial statues. I argue that both the actions and reactions of statue destruction illuminate the contemporary re-imagining of the ‘classical identity’ within Western society. Ancient Greece and Rome have long been celebrated as the founding civilisations of Western society, and thus their values, ideologies, and institutions have been preserved not just historically, but through the continuation of a cultural legacy in the West. The first section of this essay will address Western society’s idealisation and mimicry of classical mythology and the contemporary repercussions of this. The second will examine how colonisation was, and continues to be, legitimised and defended as an act of culture within the classical identity. The third section investigates Western anxieties surrounding the demolition of the classical identity via the destruction of colonial ‘heroes.’ The final section examines how ‘murdering’ colonial statues is an effective action in illuminating racial marginalisation and challenging those with invested interests in the classical identity. A re-examination and rejection of Classics as a perceived living culture is necessary to understand the actions of statue destruction within the Black Lives Matter movement.
Figure 1: Columbus Statue, Columbus Park, Boston MA 1979, Tuscan marble. It is imperative to reject classicism as a re-imagined cultural identity due to colonial and thus contemporary glorification and idealisation of ancient Greek and Roman societies within the Western viewpoint. In some ways Western society has created its own aetiological mythology stemming from the concept of ancient Greece and Rome as a foundation, worshipping Greek philosophers and Roman politicians. Thomas Eliot wrote ‘We are all, so far as we inherit the civilisation of Europe, still citizens of the Roman Empire.’1 This lengthy ‘legacy’ of Western civilisation stemming from classical roots is something that has been parroted throughout centuries. However, this has led the West to model its society on the values, ideologies, and practices of the Classical period. For instance, after the Wurundjeri Land was stolen by Batman and Fawkner ca 1835 CE, the Hoddle Grid was erected atop the colonial settlement two years later in 1837 CE. 2 The Hoddle Grid was modelled after the Hippodamian Plan, a widely popular city plan during the Classical period, fifth century BCE.3 Many Greek cities adopted the plan and it was even imposed on Greek colonies such as Alexandria.4 Not only were European colonists modelling the ‘ideal’ city from Classical Greece, but they were also mimicking its colonisation process of building a city in their image atop colonised land. Furthermore, erection of famed colonists’ monuments—such as the Columbus statue in Columbus Park that was beheaded in June 2020—show the West’s continued idealisation of their selfperceived classical heritage through mimicry of white marble and the format of megalithic individual dedications that resemble classical sculptures.5 Although Classical Greek and Roman sculptures were colourfully painted, the Western romanticisation of the white marble as inherently ‘classical’ in style prevails. The way the Classical period was raised on a pedestal by Western society informed the actions and beliefs of Europeans in the colonial era. Furthermore, the way classicism and colonialism is celebrated today creates a cultural legacy that perpetuates the ancient social institutions of Greece and Rome, thus the classical identity must be dismembered in order to facilitate decolonisation. The preservation of Classics within Western cultural identity led to the perception of colonisation as a cultural institution during the colonial era and has subsequently informed contemporary treatment and understanding of those deemed ‘colonised.’ Johnson highlights the striking resemblance between the artworks A Native Wounded
While Asleep and The Dying Gaul and suggests that the comparison between Gauls and the First Peoples emphasises the past in prediction of the future.6 To paint an Aboriginal man as a Gaul not only preluded European intentions as Johnson suggests, but also justified and glorified the violent colonisation of Australia as a cultural institution carried over from the Classical period.7 Furthermore, Dougherty’s examination of the role of Apollo in the founding myth of Corinth suggests murder, as a bloody purification ritual, is inseparable from colonisation in Greek mythology.8 Similarly, applying this to the aetiological narrative of Cadmus slaying the native serpent in the foundation myth of Thebes, we can see how colonial murder can be conceptually perceived as a ‘positive’ and ‘cleansing’ force within classical mythology.9 Cadmus slays the native serpent and Athena instructs him to plant its teeth into the ground which grow into the spartoi who fight each other until only five men remain.10 Cadmus and the successful spartoi build Thebes atop the site of this bloodshed. From the chthonic ritual bloodshed of the native serpent and ‘sown-men’ the site is ‘purified’ to begin anew as Thebes.11 Murder is culturally emblematic in Classical aetiological mythologies, its colonial overtones are also so, and romanticised allusions to this phenomena—as seen in A Native Wounded While Asleep—show endorsement and continuity of this culture of colonisation for Europeans in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, the heroization afforded to the murdering of these native monsters is also thematically prevalent in Classical mythology—as seen in Hercules slaying of Cacus at the future site of Rome—and parallels can be drawn between such mythology and Western views on European colonisation as a ‘civilising’ force. This heroization of colonisers continues today in contemporary statue erections, such as the institution of a new $3 million Captain Cook memorial at the site of the First Fleet’s landing announced in 2018.12 The statue is to contain ‘Indigenous elements’ and is described by then Treasurer Morrison as ‘a place of commemoration and recognition and understanding of two cultures, and the incredible Captain Cook.’13 The heroization of colonial figures such as Captain Cook and the positioning of him as a reconciliatory figure between colonisers and First Peoples further solidifies the argument that contemporary Western culture promotes the perception of past colonisation as a ‘generative’ and ‘civilising’ force despite colonial murder. The proposed monument serves to reinforce an understanding and recognition by Western society of the ‘two cultures’ as ‘coloniser and colonised.’14 This concept of ‘commendable’ colonisation stems from the classical identity which colonial and contemporary Western society continues to adopt, and rejection of this identity is essential in the pursuit of decolonising history. The defensive reaction of many within Western society to the destruction and vandalism of colonial statues exhibits anxieties surrounding demolition of the classical identity. Phillips states those who tore down the statue of seventeenth century slave trader Edward Colston are accusing ‘white society of being fundamentally evil’ and that ‘these demonstrations have been a form of insurrection against western society and its institutions.’15 Similarly, Australian PM Morrison defended Captain Cook over the possibility of a statue being removed of the coloniser in the UK, ‘in his time [Captain Cook] was one of the most enlightened persons on these issues’ and falsely claiming that ‘there was no slavery in Australia.’16 His defence against the destruction of historical monuments came closely after the Federal government was contacted by a lawyer of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) Aboriginal Corporation from the Pilbara region urging them to prevent the destruction of 46,000-year-old ancient deep-time rock shelters by Rio Tinto’s mining blasts.17 The government refused to intervene and Juukan Gorge cave, the only Australian site to show continual human habitation since the Ice Age and a significant cultural and historical location for the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Peoples, was blasted away in May 2020.18 PM Morrison however did not feel this particular kind of historical destruction warranted action nor comment. Recontextualising colonial ‘heroes’ elicits anxiety in non-Indigenous Australians as it draws attention to these figures’ real historical legacies, that is, illegal dispossession and violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Once this is acknowledged, it calls into question the entire legitimacy of the settler-colonial state. Additionally, the defensive reactions of counter-protests ‘protecting’ statues against activist destruction illuminates the ideological protection of the West’s self-perceived classical heritage. In one of these counter-protests, some 150 turned up to guard a statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, London that had been spray-painted with the words ‘was a racist’ during Black Lives Matter protests. One of these counter-protestors, David Allen, in response to the vandalism claimed ‘my culture is under attack.’ Although often ignored, Churchill’s racist ideologies were clear and often intertwined with colonial commentary. In 1937 he stated he did not believe that it was wrong for a ‘stronger race, a higher-grade race’ to ‘come in and [take] their place’ when referring to the colonisation of First Nations land. The immortalising of war-time leaders in monumental form is a remnant from the classical era, as is justifying colonial violence on the premise of ‘superior race.’ In Australia, mounted police guarded a Captain Cook monument in Hyde Park during a Black Lives Matter protest. Against the backdrop of overwhelming numbers of Indigenous deaths in custody, we must ask ourselves why an inanimate object representing a long-deceased colonial figure is protected by police but First Nations people are not? Considering this, colonial statues represent cultural longevity and unbroken ideological traditions that justify violent colonisation through the self-perceived cultural and racial superiority of Western society’s ‘classical heritage.’ However, destruction and vandalism of colonial statues within the Black Lives Matter movement is one of the many prominent ways activists have responded to racial marginalisation. In examining how actions of marginalised groups within classical mythology are treated by wider society, we can see contemporary similarities emerge. Take Medea, who is often considered to overreact when confronted with Jason’s new wife-to-be by murdering the Princess and her own children.19 However, as highlighted by Foley, agency plays a key role in the murders of women in classical mythology. 20 Medea, as a woman, is subject to strict social expectations and has moral obligations surrounding the way she should act. There is no socially acceptable way for her to bring Jason to justice for his infidelity, nor
is there any ability for control over what happens to herself and her children if she is left to the mercy of the new arrangement. 21 Therefore, she seeks an alternative avenue to take control of her own fate, and thus murders her own children. In doing this, she can interrupt and challenge Jason’s prerogative. Similarly, Clytemnestra has no capacity to bring Agamemnon to justice for the murder of her daughter. 22 She cannot leave her domestic role and she cannot represent herself in the law courts as a woman. 23 The murder of her husband is a way she can execute justice while also highlighting issues regarding the roles of women in society. These characters were villainised in the mythological narratives of antiquity for breaking social rules. Their violence was determined to be extreme and unjustified, whereas Agamemnon’s murder of Iphigenia is treated as neccesary for military glory and Jason’s violent acts during the Trojan war were heralded as heroic. We can similarly witness disparity in the ‘heroic’ violence of colonial murder versus the ‘criminal’ violence of statue destruction in contemporary society. For instance, forms of opposition and civil disobedience ‘approved’ by the Western mindset—such as protests without property damage—benefit Western society while disadvantaging marginalised communities. This is because Western society has written the ‘rules’ of protest and civil disobedience to prevent harm to things valued by the West—such as colonial statues. These rules protect colonial cultural heritage but, as witnessed in the Juukan Gorge cave blasts and continued erection of the Carmichael (Adani) coal mine against the demands of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, it does not protect First Nations people’s cultural heritage. These colonial statues are valued by the West for their legitimisation of colonisation, and their continued legitimisation of Western sovereignty. Harming these statues visually disrupts this legitimisation and causes fears of the dispossessed First Nations people reasserting sovereignty. Further, the designation of a protest as ‘violent’ if it involves property destruction affords property privileged and preferential treatment over the lives of activists. Batons, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets were and continue to be used on Black Lives Matter activists across the globe by police and militia, authorised in multiple instances to protect private and federal property. Here civic monuments, or rather the institutions they represent, are protected at the expense of harming activists. Evidently colonial statues represent more than just property, but ideologies, institutions, and an entire culture entrenched in classical roots. The metaphorical ‘murdering’ of the colonial figureheads who represent classical institutions such as slavery and colonisation is a justified reponse by Black Lives Matter activists to the classical identity independent of predefined ‘acceptable’ protests. Clearly, the destruction of statues within the Black Lives Matter movement prompts a re-examination of classical heritage and colonialism’s role in contemporary society. Upon investigation it is evident that Western society idealises classical mythology and colonial heritage, embodying values, ideologies, and institutions from these eras. One of these institutions—colonisation—has and continues to be viewed within the Western perspective as a ‘civilising’ and ‘generative’ force. Acts of statue destruction are interpreted by some within Western society as a ‘demolition’ of Western cultural identity. However, the act of this destruction itself is an appropriate response to historical and contemporary racial marginalisation and is a way that effectively challenges preservationists of the classical identity. Ultimately, rejecting the classical identity that remains prevalent in Western society today is necessary in decolonising history, and is paramount in understanding why someone would ‘murder’ a statue.
Endnotes 1 Martindale and Johnson 2019, 27. 2 Jamieson, A., and A. Van de Ven. 2016, 1 November. “Finding the Hidden Hellenism in Melbourne.” Pursuit. https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/finding-thehidden-hellenism-inmelbourne#::text=The%20Hoddle%20 g r i d % 2 C % 2 0 n a m e d % 2 0 a f t e r, f o u n d e d % 2 0 b y % 2 0 Batman%20 and%20Fawkner.&text=Hoddle’s%20own%20city%20 grid%20mirrors,named%20after%20Hippodam us%20of%20Miletus. 3 Jamieson and Van de Ven 2016. 4 Jamieson and Van de Ven 2016. 5 Elliott 2020; Although Classical Greek and Roman sculptures were colourfully painted, the Western romanticisation of the white marble as inherently classical in style prevails. 6 Johnson 2019, 19–20; the geographical background of the Indigenous Australian man is unknown, however the artist is called the ‘Port Jackson Painter,’ and Port Jackson is the territory of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. 7 Johnson 2019, 19–20. 8 Nonnos, Dion. 4.389–406 9 Nonnos, Dion. 4.393–405; 4.421–60; Ovid, Met. 3.114–30 10 Dougherty, C. 1993. “It’s Murder to Found a Colony.” In Cultural Poetics in Archaic Greece, edited by C. Dougherty and L. Kurke, 178–98. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
11 Dougherty 1993, 179–80; Nonnos, Dion. 4.393–405; Ovid, Met. 3.114–30 12 Zhou, N. 2018, April 28. “Sydney to get new $3m Captain Cook memorial in ‘inclusive project’.” The Gua rd ia n. ht tp s : //www.t he g ua rd ia n. c o m/aus tra l ianews/2018/apr/28/sydney-to-get-new-3mcaptain-cookmemorial-in-inclusive-project. 13 Zhou 2018. 14 Zhou 2018. 15 Phillips, M. 2020, 8 June. “We’re giving in to the race revolutionaries.” The Times. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/were-giving-in-to-therace-revolutionaries-csx59n7g8. 16 Daoud, E. 2020, 11 June. “Scott Morrison defends Captain Cook after calls to remove his statue from Sydney.” Seven News. https://7news.com.au/politics/scottmorrison/scott-morrison-defendscaptain-cook-after-callsto-remove-his-statue-from-sydney-c-1092999. 17 Borschmann, Gordon and Mitchell 2020. 18 Eur. Med. 1236–419. 19 Wahlquist 2020. 20 Foley, H. P. 2009. Female Acts in Greek tragedy. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 201–41. 21 Aesch., Agamemnon, 1343–576. 22 For ancient Greek women’s disallowance to appear as litigants see: Goldhill 1994, 347–70; Eur. Med. 1236–419. 23 Foley 2009, 213. Figure 1: Artist Unknown, Photograph of Wayne William Mackay, n.d., 7.7 x 5.4 cm, National WW1 Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, https://theworldwar.pastperfectonline.com/ photo/D56FB2A6-D59A-42DA-A587-731989715218
DAVID BOWIE’S BERLIN - Chariot Fiction -
What was left of the Berlin Wall wasn’t much to see. Some pockmarked concrete slabs held together with a thick wire that could be seen through the weathered holes in the facade. I touch it, cold and unappealing, with the back of my hand. Looking from left to right, I see the edges of this section of the wall, cut off before it could run along the busy street nearby, as it once did. I am only a traveller in this city at one particular point in time. But not long ago everything was different. This one city was two cities. And an artist of the most inspired degree walked this same wall. Barbed wire clustering the peak. German guards surveying the area with their binoculars. David Bowie dragging a cigarette as he traipsed through the fog. The famous British rock icon had moved from the ritz and glamour of Los Angeles to Cold War-era Berlin to escape the limelight and to recover from his crippling cocaine addiction. It was the perfect place for Bowie to relocate. He could walk the streets of Berlin without being recognised. It was here where Bowie found inspiration to channel an exciting new chapter in his life and career. As I walk down the Hauptstrasse, the icy air fills my lungs, and I come to a tall, cream-coloured apartment building. A few scattered flowers lay at the front door. I look up at the unassuming block of flats, gazing on the screeching cars and preoccupied pedestrians. In this exact building, Bowie lived with fellow rockstar Iggy Pop; that was until Pop was thrown out of the flat for stealing from Bowie’s fridge once too often. They spent their time in the late 70s hanging in cafés, partying in nightclubs and collaborating. Iggy Pop’s first record, titled “ The Idiot”, was co-written by Bowie, with even one of the album’s tracks “Nightclubbing” referencing the nights they spent in Berlin together. The next stop on this Bowie tour of mine is the Hansa Tonstudio. A regal-looking building with white pillars descending the facade. Now, this house of music faces a couple of newly-created office buildings. But it wasn’t long ago when those windows looked out upon a very different kind of obstruction. Throughout 1977, Bowie spent time at the Hansa Tonstudio creating the first two parts of what would go on to be known as the Berlin Trilogy; “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”. Yet, only “Heroes” was realised within the divided city, and it shows. The eponymous track evocatively paints an image of the Berlin Wall that Bowie would’ve seen from his studio window. “I can remember, standing by the wall, and the guns shot above our heads, and we kissed, as though nothing could fall” he sang, over rippling synths and guitar, manufactured by ambient music giant Brian Eno. Bowie painted a picture of love and hope in Berlin’s most desperate chapter, but what he saw in actuality was his producer, Tony Visconti, having an affair with one of the backing singers. The two met every day by the side of the wall. However, it did not matter; the image of hope that Bowie desired would one day prevail. I take the S Bahn from Potsdamer Platz until I reach Brandenburger Tor, walking up past the royal gate that was once choked by the concrete barriers. I make my way along the road to the side of the Reichstag, the German parliament building. An imperial construction, it had been given new life with a renovation and the inclusion of a glass dome atop the roof for people to look out at the rest of the city. The Reichstag meant nothing to Bowie in the late 70s. He had no occasion to visit, as it had been in disrepair since the 60s. But, when Bowie would return to Berlin in 1987, he came for a special reason. In front of the Reichstag, he played to a crowd of thousands of West Berliners, with a similarly sized crowd forming over the wall in East Berlin. Bowie sang his heart out to “Heroes”, the song penned for those trapped comrades across the border. The next day, huge riots broke out across East Berlin, spurred on by Bowie’s music. A week later, Ronald Reagan would demand the Berlin Wall to be brought down. Now the Reichstag is not just the site of a cool concert venue, it is the home of the reunified German state; black, red and yellow flying over this governmental building. The city that inspired arguably Bowie’s greatest work of art inadvertently caused its freedom. Upon his death in 2016, the German government publicly thanked David Bowie for his part in bringing down the Berlin Wall.
CHARIOT 2020 VOLUME 3