The Indigenous Uncanny: Accounting For Ghosts in Recent Indigenous Australian Experimental Media

Faye Ginsburg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This essay departs from Freud's 1919 essay, Das Unheimliche (The Uncanny), exploring the Indigenous uncanny instantiated in recent works that traffic in ghostly encounters, by well-known Australian Indigenous artists: (1) Tracey Moffatt's Night Spirits photographs from her 2013 show, Spirit Landscapes, and The White Ghosts Sailed In, from her solo show, My Horizon (2017 Venice Biennale); (2) Warwick Thornton's 2013 experimental documentary, The Darkside, based on Indigenous ghost stories, and his 2015 show The Way of the Ngangkari. These works create a powerful aesthetic that acknowledges the displacement of Aboriginal people during European settlement as well as long-standing ancestral connections.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)67-76
    Number of pages10
    JournalVisual Anthropology Review
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2018



    • Aboriginal Australia
    • indigenous media
    • uncanny

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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