Indigenous activism and social media: a global response to #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA



Publication Details

Carlson, B. & Frazer, R. (2016). Indigenous activism and social media: a global response to #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA. In A. McCosker, S. Vivienne & A. Johns (Eds.), Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest and Culture (pp. 115-130). London, United Kingdom: Rowman and Littlefield International.

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Rowman and Littlefield International


Social media sites are increasingly used by Indigenous people to connect, interact socially, and to politically agitate for social justice. Many Indigenous social and political movements depend on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as a means of effecting swift and efficient communication between and among Indigenous people. In Australia, Indigenous people are extremely adept and conversant with the use of social media in both urban and remote areas. The social media campaign #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA represents the response of women from the Kimberley region of Western Australia to the government's plans to cut essential services funding for up to 150 remote Indigenous communities. This chapter uses this case study to examine the way social media platforms are connecting groups and movements across local, regional, national and global spaces, increasing social connectivity, and amplifying attention for social and political causes. Challenging the stereotypical notion that Indigenous people do not engage with modern technology, the chapter explores how platforms such as Facebook and Twitter present a 'new frontier' for Indigenous activists. As a tool for political action, social media sites provide a forum within and across territorial borders where Indigenous people can agitate, demand political recognition for Indigenous causes, and proffer contesting and challenging views that dismantle colonial preoccupations with Indigenous political unity.

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