Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the first seminar of the weekly Department seminar series. The seminar titled Archaeology engaged: the Northern Territory Emergency Response was delivered by Claire Smith and was in my opinion probably one of the most personal and in that sense powerful lectures I’ve ever attended. While the lecture briefly touched on archaeology it should be said that the lecture was based more on the impact the NT National Emergency had on the Barunga Wugullar community in the Northern Territory, just one of the communities which were affected by the intervention.
The seminar addressed the different perceptions and outcomes of the intervention often negative but sometimes positive and because of Claire’s ongoing work with the community, the seminar was able to provide a more personal view of the intervention which is often so rarely discussed anymore. This seminar also demonstrated how interpersonal relationships develop in archaeology and it is often impossible to separate yourself from what may be happening.