Let Them Land: Christmas Islander Responses to Tampa
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Christmas Island is the site where Australia’s mandatory immigration detention policies are implemented. Protests by Christmas Islanders against the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers have surfaced since boatpeople began arriving in 1992 and reached a pinnacle during the Tampa affair. Based on interviews conducted in 2009 with island residents and archival material, the paper explores Christmas Islanders’ responses before and during the Tampa affair through the notion of hospitality that was disrupted when a state of emergency removed control of both ethical responsibility and island sovereignty.
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