As Australians we are far removed from much of the world, from western imperial policies, actions and perhaps most importantly outcomes. Here conflict is obscured. In this sense we serve as an experiment; what one group of people can be convinced to do to another if the distance between them is great and the understanding small and distorted.
This concept does not negate the situation at home, but the reality is that ‘settlement’ was predominantly successful. Those who are left are seen through years of misinformation, false interpretation and guilt, if seen at all. With regard to western imperialism, it should be reasonably understood that when land is atstake any situation can be made to seem a battle.
When there is no immediate land at stake, rather only specific interest, then some time and energy has to go in to controlling ways of seeing and communicating. Concerning shaping what is understood, a significant effort must be undertaken to coerce.
All images ©Aaron Claringbold