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From the early 19th century, Aboriginal culture in southeast Australia was severely disrupted by colonisation, the affects of which continue to reverberate within that community today. Visual material from the colonial period was often used as a means for classifying and labelling Aboriginal people in the southeast, resulting in many images being used to justify the idea of the so-called inevitable decline of Aboriginal people and to reinforce racist stereotypes. In this paper we discuss a digital storytelling workshop with Aboriginal young people from southeast Australia, which sought to develop digital literacy as an ethical imperative that would allow Aboriginal youth to construct visual content that not only challenged the traditional concept of digital storytelling as a linear, first-person, autobiographical narrative, but focused on developing Aboriginal young peoples’ capacity to control digital self-representations, which supported their explorations of their identity and culture. This was considered in terms of an ethical response to the use of visual methods in research with Aboriginal young people, as some images that are produced and consumed in the digital realm may provoke inappropriate and racist responses, a reality among Aboriginal communities, and one potentially aggravated by the rapid transmission of digital images via social network sites.
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