The Queen Died, Colonisers Cried and the Walls Came Tumbling Down

  • Bronwyn Carlson Macquarie University
Keywords: Indigenous, social media, colonisers, empire, colony, global solidarity


It is difficult to comprehend the overwhelming outpouring of emotion evidenced on social media following the passing of Elizabeth 11. It is not that this cannot be understood in the context of the dominant narrative. The difficulty lies in comprehending what the British monarchy has come to represent to so many. Fifty-six nations are still part of what is known as the Commonwealth. In Australia alone, over 500 Indigenous nations existed prior to the British Crown’s invasion and its subsequent attempt to decimate those nations and claim British sovereignty. This paper seeks to understand how and why the dominant ideology of the Crown has manifest into a deluge of sadness, even despair. The paper will look at responses, interactions, and reactions by public figureheads. It will also demonstrate the sorrow felt by many Indigenous people at these responses themselves which to so many, betray a deliberate forgetfulness of what this event represents to them.

Author Biography

Bronwyn Carlson, Macquarie University

Bronwyn Carlson is a Professor and Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. She is the author of The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? (2016), which includes a chapter on identity and community on social media. She is widely published on the topic of Indigenous cultural, social, intimate and political engagements on social media including co-editing and contributing to two special issues; the Australasian Journal of Information Systems (2017) on “Indigenous Activism on Social Media” and Media International Australia (2018) on “Indigenous Innovation on Social Media”, and an edited volume with Rutgers University Press (2021) Indigenous People Rise Up: The Global Ascendancy of Social Media Activism.