Possession: Contemporary life in remote Aboriginal Australia tells the fascinating story of the only treaties ever made between settlers and Aboriginal people in Australia. It contemplates why whites forged these agreements, how the Aboriginal people understood their terms, why the government repudiated them, and how whites claimed to be the rightful owners of the land.
Possession compares the ways settler society has endeavoured to make good its possession by repeatedly creating histories that have recalled or repressed the memory of Batman, the treaties, and the destruction and dispossession of Aboriginal people. It charts how Aboriginal people have unsettled this history through their remembering.
Alternative title: Possession: Batman's Treaty and the Matter of History.
Bain Attwood is an associate professor in the School of Historical Studies at Monash University and an adjunct professor in the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at Australian National University. He is also the author of The Making of the Aborigines, Rights for Aborigines, and Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History.