chapter  8
23 Pages

Framing the crimes of colonialism: Critical images of aboriginal art and law

ByCHRIS CUNNEEN

This chapter considers images of crime and law, and what we, through the lens of cultural criminology, might learn of the nature and experiences of crime represented through the image. Cultural criminology opens a new space for understanding crime, especially where the image is produced by those who are victims of crime and simultaneously without access to other channels of communication within mainstream social and political institutions. The images considered in this chapter are particular: Australian Aboriginal art. These artworks function on two levels, as an expression of Aboriginal law and, more extensively, as a critique of the imposed colonial law. Both in traditional and contemporary society, Aboriginal art is a powerful medium for expressing Aboriginal law and culture.