However, the very existence of this regularly run tour raises serious concerns about ‘dark tourism’ and the need to respectfully handle a historical site’s devastating past. No matter how tastefully it is done, can a ghost tour of a former asylum ever be an appropriate method of generating greater interest in local history?
On 21 June 2018, less than four hours before the passage of Australia’s first treaty legislation through the Victorian Parliament, the only Aboriginal member stood to draw attention to the hypocrisy and disrespect being shown by the Daniel Andrews Government.
The once-obscure bush capital, and its number plates, have been keen to adopt new hipster clothing; to present as something like that ‘cool inland city that your best mate lives in’. Yet like every trend that drapes itself in ironic sentiment, there’s more than a kernel of serious intent here, as there is to the apparently outlandish claim that Canberra – yes, Canberra – is now the cultural capital of Australia.
On Friday, Canadian alt-right YouTuber and activist Lauren Southern will host the Melbourne leg of her national speaking tour, alongside fellow alt-right YouTuber and compatriot Stefan Molyneux. Southern’s video announcing her tour really tries to bring the drama: ‘You guys are at a crossroads. Do you want to retain your culture … your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming, the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism?’
Collaborations are difficult beasts to navigate at the best of times. When collaborators are coming from very different worlds, from very different ways of experiencing and understanding and making, the dynamic becomes all that more complicated, and all that more compelling.