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Type: Journal article
Title: 'Two dreams in one bedroom': narrating victimhood and perpetration in Australian refugee history
Author: Szorenyi, A.
Citation: Australian Feminist Studies, 2012; 27(73):297-306
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0816-4649
Statement of
Anna Szȍrényi
Abstract: This paper explores two stories of the author’s own family, one of post-Second World War Displaced Persons, and one of Nazi collaboration. Juxtaposed, these two stories attached to one familial identity throw into relief the expectations of victimhood and responsibility encoded in stereotypical refugee narratives. The paper tracks such expectations in contemporary Australian refugee debate, showing that essentialised equations between refugees and victimhood can be used to obscure, rather than expose, relations of power and violence. The uncomfortable revelations about my own family that I canvass here can thus be understood as a synecdoche for uncomfortable truths about Australia’s history in relation to refugees, both past and present. Attending to these truths requires being prepared to disrupt ‘familiar’ narratives of victimhood and perpetration, and remember our own potential affiliations with violence, whether personal or national.
Rights: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0020121716
DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2012.701810
Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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