student profile: Ms Kaiya Aboagye


Thesis work

Thesis title: Finding Aboriginal Australia in the Global African Diaspora: Race, identity and Aboriginal Australian connections to Africa

Supervisors: Sujatha FERNANDES

Thesis abstract:

This research project will deconstruct the complex, trans-cultural and social history between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders and people of the global African diaspora in Australia.

Investigating the socio-historical and racial positioning of Aboriginal Australians of African descent, is a long, often undocumented and unknown history. A history that starts from the very beginning of colonization in 1788, with the arrival of eleven settlers of African descent on Australia’s first colonial fleet. It is commonly known among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family groups, that linage can be traced back several generations to long lost African forefathers, changing the nature and kinship of Aboriginal family formation.

Dominant interpretations of Australia’s African history and early colonial literature routinely leave out this relationship between people of color within its nationalist narrative. Our history books are habitual discourses that present an uncomplicated story about black and white protagonist and race relations, but never between the subjects themselves, or the voices of the oppressed “others”.

This research argues that by examining the historical relationship between these groups; we can start to extend our current thinking about the intersectional nature and trans-cultural connections between Indigenous Australia and the global African Diaspora. Particularly as it emerges and intersects within the transnational spaces of Indigenous Australia's international social and political history.

This research will further advance our theoretical articulation of the development of trans-cultural black studies in Australia. As it will deconstruct the parameters for the development of new theory coming out from Afro-Indigenous Australian identities and epistemology and speak to the transformative power of theorizing our spaces as the most urgent project of decolonization today.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.