At and Beyond Boundary Street: Technologies of Control & Resistance and the Production of Plural Colonial Spaces

Ms Anna Carlson1, Mr Max Mitropoulos1

1University Of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia


In this paper, we draw on the theoretical framework outlined above to critically examine the (continuing) operation of Boundary Streets in our home context of Brisbane. Using Boundary Street as a case study, we consider the constant co-existence of Indigenous sites of resistance, refusal and revival; practices of colonial enclosure, restraint and oversight; and the reproduction of “white spatial existence” (Mitropoulos 2019). By focusing on contestations over Boundary Street, we draw our attention to the simultaneous maintenance of diverse colonial spaces and the boundaries between them: ‘frontiers,’ Boundary Streets, prisons and Missions; as well as the domestic spaces, suburbias and white picket fences that accompany and support them. We suggest that thinking about the production and reproduction of these colonial spaces over time helps to make visible how colonialism operates at the intersections of race and place. Drawing on archival, anecdotal and auto ethnographic examples from our PhD projects, we examine the multiple and nuanced demonstrations of colonialism on Brisbane’s boundaries through control and restraint; surveillance and oversight; and through the protection and normalisation of “white possession” (Moreton-Robinson 2015).


Anna is a radio producer, illustrator and researcher of Scandinavian and Irish descent, currently based in Meanjin. She is an organiser of Brisbane Free University & co-produces 4zzz’s Radio Reversal. Her PhD research investigates the relationship between surveillance and colonialism in Brisbane from an intersectional, spatial standpoint approach.

Max Mitropoulos is a descendent of the Kullilli people. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. He is based at UQ’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Max’s research interest is in interrogating the ordering of spatial existence within and beyond the colonial context with a particular focus on technology.

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