'Seated between the eyes of two worlds': The intercultural work of Craig San Roque

2018-03-26T03:44:59Z (GMT) by Joan Fleming
The intricate and inscrutable workings of Central Desert Law and mythopoesis continue to hold sway over the Australian settler imagination. We are moved to vertigo by the vibrating fields of dot paintings, and the brutal exploits of Dreaming heroes suggest enigmatic codes for social behaviour and care of country. Those of us who feel affronted and sorrowed by the ongoing colonial suppressions of Indigenous sovereignty, such as the Northern Territory Intervention, may wish to deepen our understanding or be an ally. Our anger is fueled by our imperfect intuition of the deep knowledge of the land held by Central Desert peoples. However, navigating the ethical and political space between settler, or kardiya, and Central Desert Aboriginal, or yapa, remains fraught. One of the under-sung guides to working in this intercultural space is the psychoanalyst, scholar, and poet Crag San Roque. San Roque's intercultural work might help kardiya understand how an inherited cultural framework can obscure our capacity to fully understand the Aboriginal lifeworld. Reflexive in philosophy, exploratory in intention, and privileging the imagination above all, San Roque's work is unique among those working in, and with, Central Desert communities.<div><br></div><div>PAN: Philosophy Activism Nature, No. 13, 2017: 36-45<br></div>