Daniel Fisher

The Voice and Its Doubles

Media and Music in Northern Australia

Duke UP 2016

Books ReceivedBooks Received: AnthropologyBooks Received: Music May 23, 2016

Beginning in the early 1980s Aboriginal Australians found in music, radio, and film media a means to make themselves heard across the country and...

Beginning in the early 1980s Aboriginal Australians found in music, radio, and film media a means to make themselves heard across the country and to insert themselves into the center of Australian political life. In The Voice and Its Doubles Daniel Fisher analyzes the great success of this endeavor, asking what is at stake in the sounds of such media for Aboriginal Australians. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research in northern Australia, Fisher describes the close proximity of musical media, shifting forms of governmental intervention, and those public expressions of intimacy and kinship that suffuse Aboriginal Australian social life. Todays Aboriginal media include genres of country music and hip-hop; radio requests and broadcast speech; visual graphs of a digital audio timeline; as well as the statistical media of audience research and the discursive and numerical figures of state audits and cultural policy formation. In each of these diverse instances the mediatized voice has become a site for overlapping and at times discordant forms of political, expressive, and institutional creativity.

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