Prologue: Staging the Voice
The prologue provides a narrative entrée into the book’s ethnographic and theoretical interests. It describes a week-long remote community music festival from the perspective of an Indigenous broadcast team. The chapter foregrounds the diverse media by which the voice is amplified and made an object of expressive and reflexive consideration in contexts of a highly politicized institutional politics in which speaking as oneself and speaking for others are often closely tied together. This narrative provides an occasion to sketch the many ways in which the voice is staged in Aboriginal Australia, introducing the different audio technologies and media institutions with which the book’s subsequent chapters are preoccupied. The prologue also describes the central place of radio in northern Australia and the ways it draws together popular music and forms of Indigenous broadcast address.