Never-Never Land : affective landscapes, the touristic gaze and heterotopic space in Australia

Stadler, Jane & Mitchell, Peta (2010) Never-Never Land : affective landscapes, the touristic gaze and heterotopic space in Australia. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 4(2), pp. 173-187.

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Abstract

This article explores how the imaginative use of the landscape in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia (2008) intersects with the fantasy of Australianness that the film constructs. We argue the fictional Never-Never Land through which the film’s characters travel is an, albeit problematic, ‘indigenizing’ space that can be entered imaginatively through cultural texts including poetry, literature and film, or through cultural practices including touristic pilgrimages to landmarks such as Uluru and Kakadu National Park. These actual and virtual journeys to the Never-Never have broader implications in terms of fostering a sense of belonging and legitimating white presence in the land through affect, nostalgia and the invocation of an imagined sense of solidarity and community. The heterotopic concept of the Never-Never functions to create an ahistorical, inclusive space that grounds diverse conceptions of Australianness in a shared sense of belonging and home that is as mythical, contradictory and wondrous as the idea of the Never-Never itself. The representations of this landscape and the story of the characters that traverse it self-consciously construct a relationship to past events and to film history, as well as constructing a comfortable subject position for contemporary Australians to occupy in relation to the land, the colonial past, and the present.

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ID Code: 69225
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Classified as C1
Keywords: Australian cinema, Tourism studies, Heterotopia studies, Narrative mapping, Media geography, Affective landscapes
DOI: 10.1386/sac.4.2.173_1
ISSN: 1750-3175
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Recreation Leisure and Tourism Geography (160402)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Intellect Ltd
Deposited On: 26 Mar 2014 23:35
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2014 23:35

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