Colour Between the Lines: Self-determination and the Creation of Settings as Resistance to Structural Violence

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Sonn, Christopher ORCID: 0000-0002-6175-1030, Agung-Igusti, Rama, Dau, Anyuop, Deng, Ez Eldin, Ruach, Ruth Nyaruot, Komba, Geskeva and Akoul, Nyakeer (2021) Colour Between the Lines: Self-determination and the Creation of Settings as Resistance to Structural Violence. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 12 (2). pp. 1-19. ISSN 2163-8667


For many people from communities of the African diaspora in Australia, raced-based discrimination through mechanisms of structural violence frames day to day lived experiences. Yet, while racialised and other forms of structural violence pervade the lives of black people and other marginalised groups, individuals and communities also resist and survive every day. Resistance and struggles for survival are evident in the creation of alternative settings that are important for affirming culture and histories, and for providing opportunities for a sense of community, consciousness raising, and constructing new and alternative narratives to those that pervade dominant cultural contexts. The focus of this paper is to examine the formation of a self-determined alternative setting within the broader context of race relations in Naarm/Birraranga (Melbourne). A secondary focus of this paper is to describe community engaged ways of working that were engendered by the setting, as university-based researchers collaborated with a collective of creative practitioners to document the project. The alternative setting examined is called Colour Between the Lines, a self-determined initiative comprising a collective of five creative practitioners from the African diaspora. We describe the emergence of CBTL as an enactment of racial justice through the self-determined activity that has emerged from a group of people who individually and collectively continue to be subjected to racialised structural violence. We suggest that CBTL can be understood as an alternative setting that further engenders important forms of resistance and community making, and that is shaped and constrained by social power relations. Thus, we argue the need as community-based researchers to work with and within communities, engaging in critical and collaborative forms of anti-racist and decolonial praxis to support the creation of such settings.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords African diaspora, Australia, raced-based discrimination, structural violence, marginalised groups, social identities, blackness, decoloniality
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