chapter  3
35 Pages

‘Think Before You Travel’

Urban violence, risk management and the territorialisation of the Australian public space
ByMaria Elena Indelicato

Chapter 3 approaches the protests Indian international students staged against a spate of violent attacks in 2009 and 2010 in Sydney and Melbourne as an event that led to the problematisation of international students in general as subjects ‘at risk’ – that is, inherently vulnerable to urban violence. The first three sections review the state and federal responses to the protests and untangle how the corresponding problemisation of the violent attacks as a matter of urban crime functioned as a new pedagogy of racial concealment and an attempt to harness the political agency of Indian protesters into representative forms amenable to the mainstream culture. The last section undertakes a close reading of the safety campaign Think Before You Travel and shows how state and federal representatives’ responses to the protests had as much condemned the attacks as normalised the making of the Australian public space into territories that only the ‘right kind’ of racialised minorities have the right to inhabit without fear.