2010

This article concerns the protest of an Aborigil Australian man, Anthony Martin Ferndo, who during an intertiol gathering of Rome Catholics in the Jubilee year of 1925 handed out flyers outside St Peter's Cathedral in Rome. By protesting against conditions for Aborigil people in Australia, Ferndo brought the question of settler colonialism in Australia directly and in person to the Roman Catholic community arriving from around the world. Where the Vatican's ethnographic exhibition of that year rehearsed the more usual representation of injustices towards Australia's indigenous people as integral to an unruly nineteenth-century colonial frontier, Ferndo aimed to link Australian settler colonialism with the British world in the present - a world he characterized as yet to be brought to account for its actions towards colonized peoples, particularly the Aborigines of Australia. The audacity of that protest, as well as the literal presence of an Aborigil man living by himself on the streets of interwar Europe, forces us to reconsider Aborigil Australian activism in the twentieth century. It requires firstly a more genuinely transtiol account of the history of indigenous politics in Australia, and secondly a more dymic account of the diversity of often-ephemeral forms of black political activism carried out within and beyond colonial settings in the modern era.