Created Communities: Caboolture Historical Village

Posted Tuesday March 13, 2012 by John Gunders in |

[Department of blatant self-promotion]

My latest paper has just been published in Altitude. Please cite repeatedly in prestigious journals…

Abstract: Following Zygmunt Bauman’s provocation that times of physical and ideological insecurity lead to an appeal to the ideals of community, this paper considers the way in which history and community are reconstructed at the Caboolture Historical Village, an open-air museum north of Brisbane. The village privileges the region’s pioneer past and the period evoked is rural, late nineteenth century, largely excluding any references to Caboolture’s modern, urban history. An analysis of the site reveals that the version of community on display is narrowly constructed around the ideals of hard work, individualism, and piety, and reveals an emphasis on technological progress and innovation to the exclusion of the lives of the people whose lives are ostensibly commemorated. This paper contends that this idealised construction of an homogeneous, unified past that excludes problematic figures such as aborigines and migrants serves a conservative fantasy of the “good old days” where issues were black and white, community consensus was assumed, and external threats were easily identified and repelled. It argues that in a postmodern world of cosmopolitanism, international migration, and global terror, places like the Caboolture Historical Village increase their appeal in an uncertain world.

Gunders, John. “Created Communities: Caboolture Historical Village.” Altitude 10 (2012).

Available here [pdf 184kb]

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