Book review of "The Voice and Its Doubles: media and music in Northern Australia" by D. Fisher. Durham, NC, USA, Duke University Press, 2016

Jennifer Deger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

[Extract] In the final pages of Daniel Fisher's impressive account of the sound and music world of Aboriginal north Australia, the reader is left with a vignette that gives the book a final twang of hope. Tracey, an Aboriginal radio worker from Darwin, her young niece, and Fisher — riding along as radio station volunteer/ethnographer — visit a bush community to deliver technical and broadcast training. The highlight of the trip comes the following day, when they are taken by an old man on a hunting trip across the plains of Peppimenarti (a place, we are reminded, known to many Australians through Slim Dusty's eponymous song). As Fisher describes the events of the day he lingers with what he calls the 'real work' of the hunt: the time spent learning to skin and butcher ducks for distribution amongst kin networks. In doing so he renders an intimate scene of intergenerational learning and relationship, one that might have been lifted straight out of a prior era of anthropology, had the reader not been already been made fully aware of the disjunctive histories and frustrated desires that so profoundly shape this tender moment of culture making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375 - 376
Number of pages2
JournalThe Australian Journal of Anthropology
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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