Wandjina, graffiti and heritage: The power and politics of enduring imagery

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This article explores the re-purposing of rock art imagery in contemporarygraffiti. We examine a particular case study from Perth, Western Australia, whereby graffiti resembling Wandjina rock art figures appeared throughout the metropolis. The power of this graffiti drew considerable attention from the public and the media. It also, however, drew attention to the complexities of representing cultural heritage and the custodial responsibilities faced by the Indigenous people of the Kimberley region. The appearance of Wandjina in Perth, outside their place in the remote north-westof Australia, was enjoyed by many as an appreciation of the power and beautyof the Wandjina. For others, including those with the rights and obligations of looking after Wandjina, it was also an unsettling occurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-183
Number of pages30
JournalHumanities Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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