This is week 3 of my immersion into the area of the Indigenous. I had made a call some time ago till 3 weeks ago that I could transfer my discourse of ‘the other’ from India into that of comprehending the indigenous in Australia. Three weeks ago I had a meeting which sowed seeds of doubt in my head. So I am now in a position of (a) having a framework that navigates ‘the other’ as a general category, and (b) needing a way to navigate a particular instance of the indigenous in Australia s a specific example.
In India there is a the instance of the hi-caste and the tribal as two polar instances of the urban and rural – both negotiating the contemporary. The tribal in India exists as a category that is both protected and transformed. It exists as a location for positive discrimination and as a category that has been marginalsied in society. Its ways have been the subject of social inquiry – but its ways have not been valued for adoption. The tribal has also not been a site of live tourism Its artefacts have been made into museum pieces and its crafts have been the subject of modernisation. The hi-caste on the other hand has been studied and similarly marginalsied in specific locations. I have been a student of the hi-caste, and have grown up in the tribal areas of India. I amy assume here that I have the necessary background to go into the indigenous in another part of the world. Though I am not very sure footed.
Then there is Gondwanaland – which needs another journey.
For three weeks now I have been reading up on the indigenous – in a attempt to construct ‘design and the indigenous’ as a research project.
More on this in the coming posts!