Film buffs, theatre-goers and literature lovers can now explore online the locations used in Australia’s most loved films, novels, plays and poems.
The Cultural Atlas of Australia, developed by the University of Queensland, is an interactive digital map that plots more than 300 locations depicted in over 150 texts.
Coordinator Dr Peta Mitchell says the atlas is the first of its kind.
“Cultural travellers, students and scholars can use the map to plot literary tours, visit film sites, or research landscape and locations in Australian stories,” says Dr Mitchell.
“You can search for your favourite text or author, or browse the locations we’ve plotted on the Google map.” Information on the social and ecological history of each location is also provided.
“We experience everything through our environment, and in many ways it defines who we are,” says Tasmanian playwright, Tom Holloway, whose plays Storm Boy and Beyond the Neck feature in the atlas.
“That’s why locations play such an important role in any text—they provide context to the characters, and the author’s personality. I think the atlas is a great resource and I hope it encourages local people to discover places in their own backyard.”
Dr Mitchell says anyone can contribute to the atlas, through the website or via The Cultural Atlas of Australia Facebook page.
“We would love to travel to each of the locations and talk with the locals but it would take far too much time and money. Instead, we’re calling upon locals and visitors to contribute and share their landscape photos of locations we’ve pin-pointed and their personal knowledge about the settings of specific narrative places or events”.
People are also invited to give directions to a location, or information about how the location is significant.
In 2013, the project received additional funding through The Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia program to develop a mobile app, which is in the preliminary stages, and six case studies that look at the real-life social and ecological concerns associated with six locations.
The case studies include one on mining in the Pilbara – a setting used in the films Japanese Story and Red Dog – and one on the Snowy River hydroelectric scheme and grazing in Victoria’s high country – a setting used in the film The Man from Snowy River.
For media assistance and photos:
Robbie Mitchell, 07 3846 7111, 0419 375 196 or [email protected]
Cultural Atlas of Australia:
Cultural Atlas – Facebook: