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Welcome to Woodside: Inverbrackie Alternative Place of Detention and performances of belonging in Woodside, South Australia, and Australia

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Alternative Places of Detention (APODs) are a new way of detaining asylum seekers in Australia. The establishment of APODs creates a new formal structure of belonging in Australia which challenges everyday practices of belonging and senses of belonging at the local and national scale. This paper examines practices of belonging which emerged following the establishment of the Inverbrackie APOD in Woodside, South Australia. Using a critical discourse analysis approach, informed by the insights of theories of performativity, this research explores the competing stories of two broadly defined groups (opponents and supporters of Inverbrackie) engaged in a dialogue about asylum seekers, refugees, immigration detention and belonging. While opposition to the APOD was vocal and frequent in the lead-up to the establishment of the detention centre, once the Inverbrackie APOD became operational opponents’ voices began to fade. On the other hand, supporters continued to say things—and more importantly continued to do things—to nurture belonging for asylum seekers in Inverbrackie, Woodside, and Australia.

Keywords: Alternative Places of Detention (APODs); Immigration detention centres (IDCs); asylum seekers; belonging; national identity; performativity; refugees

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Newcastle, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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