The role of the internet in testimony : the case of the ‘Forgotten Australians’

Adkins, Barbara A. & Hancox, Donna (2014) The role of the internet in testimony : the case of the ‘Forgotten Australians’. Media Culture and Society, 36(6), pp. 1-17.

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This paper examines the case of the Forgotten Australians as an opportunity to examine the role of the internet in the presentation of testimony. ‘Forgotten Australians’ are a group who suffered abuse and neglect after being removed from their parents – either in Australia or in the UK - and placed in Church and State run institutions in Australia between 1930 and 1970. The campaign by this profoundly marginalised group coincided with the decade in which the opportunities of Web 2.0 were seen to be diffusing throughout different social groups, and were considered a tool for social inclusion. We outline a conceptual framework that positions the role of the internet as an environment in which the difficult relationships between painful past experiences and contemporary injunctions to remember them, are negotiated. We then apply this framework to the analysis of case examples of posts and interaction on websites with web 2.0 functionality: YouTube and the National Museum of Australia. The analysis points to commonalities and differences in the agency of the internet in these two contexts, arguing that in both cases the websites provided support for the development of a testimony-like narrative and the claiming, sharing and acknowledgement of loss.

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ID Code: 63797
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Testimony, Memory, Narrative, Internet, Trauma, Public Apology
DOI: 10.1177/0163443714545002
ISSN: 1460-3675
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2013 22:16
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2014 01:01

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