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Using the Master’s Tools: Resisting Colonization Through Colonial Sports
In this article, there is a lot of drama about Navajo school children. The article discusses the imposition of colonial sports such as basketball and football on Navajo school children. The aim of missionaries in that scenario was to assimilate the children into Euro American culture which is something disturbing for some people as it is opposite to their ideology. It can simply be considered as an attempt for erasing the memory along with the history of native people. One may wonder why? But the answer to that question is the beliefs of missionaries of that time. They thought if the structure of colonial sports is adopted by natives, it will result in making them able to adopt the meaning of such sports.
The overall research is based on the examination of the relationship between Navajo and sports as it tends to examine basketball which is considered one of the most popular sports among Navajo. The analysis tends to propose that in case if natives tend to embrace the structure of colonial sports forcefully uniformly, there is a high chance that they can be utilizing colonial sports as an instrument of unifying among natives. One thing that must be taken into consideration is the fact that if the structure of colonial sports that is adopted by Navajo without their meaning, it may allow Navajo to trick colonists into thinking they have been succeeded (Anderson, 2006).
In the overall picture of the article, it can be seen that Navajo tends to use such sports for certain reasons that can serve in making the popular off the reservation. There is no doubt that they are considered as fast-paced team sports that can be raising money for many schools. Moreover, they have the ability to provide a good seat for many. It seems to be like the reason behind why Navajo value such sports lies in the fact that these spots are the ones that are valued the most by the colonists. Apparently, it may seem that colonists have been undoubtedly successful when it comes to their assimilationist efforts. However, one thing that must be taken into consideration is that this research tends to show that Navajo have used such sports with a sole purpose for uniting the Navajo along with providing them a chance to perform games with different communities.
The most important thing here is that colonial sports tend to provide Navajo with an avenue for competing against the colonists. Looking at the marriage between the Navajo and colonial sports, it can simply be not considered perfect in any sense. When it comes to the obtainment of individual fame on the reservation, it seems to be in meeting with the conflicting sentiment. Athletes who tend to rise to the top, look at their own selves as an individual who is the representative of the Navajo Nation (Anderson, 2006). There is no doubt that getting a scholarship is no less than a symbol of pride. The reason for that lies in the fact that the scholarships are given by the colonists themselves.
An effort for escaping the poverty of reservation life, undoubtedly, such type of strategy seems highly ineffectual. The matter of fact is that the high school athletes do not have the similar height as compared to the associates of different communities. In a nutshell, it can be said that such sporting appears to be a mixed bag in the case of Navajo. It can simply be concluded that the connection between the Navajo and the colonial relationship is quite complicated, and it refers that the acceptance structure has not been effective till date.
That Picture – Nicky Winmar and the History of an Image
The article explores the time of 18th century when the followers of Aussie Rules football started yelling at players. The picture stating the entire story is quite famous, and the article is mainly based on it. At that time, yelling was quite notable. When it came to the year 1993. Nicky Winmar was seen responding to the racist barracking, as he was the pride in his skin colour. There is a high probability that the rest of footy players had given a response to such type of abuse back in history. One thing that must be taken into consideration is the fact that it was nothing but the words and image of Winmar's response that did come to look at some sort of symbolising movement against the racists in football.
The image has powerful semiotics that tends to make it easier to understand the concept behind it. There is no doubt that by just looking at the image, one can recall the 1990’s and current racial issues in sports. However, considering the Winmar’s image, the status was not considered automatic (Klugman et al., 2009). The reason for that is quite simple that it did not happen in a single night. One thing that must be taken into consideration is that it remains contested. The gesture of Winmar might not be having the same impact if it was not captured by Feder and Ludbey. The matter of fact is that there was a high chance that the unpublished pictures and alternative shots with outstretched arms of Winmar to be chosen for publication at that time.
When it comes to the ongoing debate over Winmar's words, it reveals that there might be a possibility of dominant meanings to reside outside the race. Although, the meaning of the picture is not completely set, it still tends to continue to be a popular and powerful symbol of racial issues in sport. The best thing about this article is that it has highlighted the largely untapped potential to analysis the past events or history of individual photographs. The matter of fact is that the image we use cannot be considered as the neutral representation of the past. However, it has been observed that they are the products of specific history that tends to reveal much of the social and cultural context of their time.
The semiotic meaning of those pictures along with their material uses, and affective natures are undoubtedly all of high importance. The Winmar image is of high importance, and it tends to elicit the consideration of other symbolic moments that may be lost. By having an in-depth analysis of the image, it can be seen that Ludbey, being a photo-journalist was pretty much aware of precariousness (Klugman et al., 2009). There is no doubt that there was an involvement of luck as well that lead to capture such symbolic sporting moment.
One of the most discussed questions is that how one image came such in power. It often happens that photographs are taken, and they are forgotten. However, in the current scenario, the Winmar’s image still has its own importance in sports. The article reflects how by using an image, the whole scenario can be delivered to the audience in no time. The beauty of this article is that it summarises the whole racial situation of the 18th century. Moreover, it tends to connect it with the racial discrimination of the 21st century as well. There is no doubt that the racial discrimination has been dissolved in the roots of this society, and each area whether it is of sports or other occupations, there is a high need to highlight such issues.
Anderson, E. D. (2006). Using the master's tools: resisting colonization through colonial sports. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 23(2), 247-266.
Carr, P. R. (2017). Whiteness and white privilege: Problematizing race and racism in a “color-blind” world and in education. In Rassismuskritik und Widerstandsformen (pp. 871-889). Springer VS, Wiesbaden.
Davies, C., & Dunbar, N. (2015). Internal Policing of the Enduring Issue of Racism in Professional Team Sports. U. Notre Dame Austl. L. Rev., 17, 59.
Hallinan, C. (2015). Assessing the sociology of sport: On indigeneity, politics of identity and Australian sports. International review for the sociology of sport, 50(4-5), 448-453.
Klugman, M., & Osmond, G. (2009). That picture-Nicky Winmar and the history of an image. Australian Aboriginal Studies, (2), 78.
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