Ilaria Vanni Accarigi

Sulla spiaggia. Cronulla, Sydney, dicembre 2005

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords:

On December 2005, the Cronulla Beach in the southern area of Sidney became known worldwide because of its racial riots between an Anglo-Australian majority and a group of people described by national media as having a "Middle-Eastern look". The riots were based on pre-existing racial tensions and were fuelled by a mediatic campaign and a text message sent by cell-phones inciting local residents to fight off "wogs and Lebaneses" from "their" beach. On the basis of Appadurai's concept of "production of locality", this paper contextualizes the racial riots in Cronulla at the nexus of local fantasies, national images and global cultural flows. It shows that the protection of boundaries is based on a specific (colonialist) behaviour thanks to which the fear of losing "whiteness" becomes racial discrimination, whilst also involving elements of class and gender. In fact, the female body symbolically represented the starting-point of the riots, on the basis of the semantic association nation-female that requires protection. In this context, the paper concludes by showing that in the Cronulla beach riots the stake was not just the legal but the cultural citizenship of the people.

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