Transience, memory and induced amnesia: the re-imagining of Darwin

Jason Roberts, Martin Young

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The 'Territory' is distinctive for the degree to which the non-Indigenous population in particular migrates in and out. This mobility covers the spectrum from short term tourist and business migration at one end, through to longer term residential migration at the other. Focusing on the urban centre of Darwin, this article explores the ways in which high population turnover results in a process of selective remembering and forgetting, one that re-imagines and represents the city to appeal to an increasingly mobile visitor population. Focusing on significant events in Darwin's history, including Cyclone Tracy and the second world war bombing of Darwin, it explores how the negotiated memories of seminal events are re-imagined by promotional strategies in a way that unhinges the past and attempts to construct a new identity attractive to potential migrants and tourists. The article argues that the challenges of constructing an enduring, meaningful and significant sense of place, within a context of flux and transience, force Darwin to constantly negotiate a 'paradox of place', attracting people by its otherness, while simultaneously enticing them to stay through its capacity to match the lifestyle expectations of elsewhere. � 2008 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-62
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Australian Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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