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Rethinking Tasmania’s regionality from an Antarctic perspective: flipping the map

Nielsen, H ORCID: 0000-0002-2761-7727, Lucas, C ORCID: 0000-0002-0834-1622 and Leane, E ORCID: 0000-0002-7954-6529 2019 , 'Rethinking Tasmania’s regionality from an Antarctic perspective: flipping the map' , M/C Journal, vol. 22, no. 3 , pp. 1-7 .

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Tasmania hangs from the map of Australia like a drop in freefall from the substance of the mainland. Often the whole state is mislaid from Australian maps and logos (Reddit). Tasmania has, at least since federation, been considered peripheral—a region seen as isolated, a ‘problem’ economically, politically, and culturally. However, Tasmania not only cleaves to the ‘north island’ of Australia but is also subject to the gravitational pull of an even greater land mass—Antarctica. In this article, we upturn the political conventions of map-making that place both Antarctica and Tasmania in obscure positions at the base of the globe. We show how a changing global climate re-frames Antarctica and the Southern Ocean as key drivers of worldwide environmental shifts. The liquid and solid water between Tasmania and Antarctica is revealed not as a homogenous barrier, but as a dynamic and relational medium linking the Tasmanian archipelago with Antarctica. When Antarctica becomes the focus, the script is flipped: Tasmania is no longer on the edge, but core to a network of gateways into the southern land. The state’s capital of Hobart can from this perspective be understood as an “Antarctic city”, central to the geopolitics, economy, and culture of the frozen continent (Salazar et al.). Viewed from the south, we argue, Tasmania is not a problem, but an opportunity for a form of ecological, cultural, economic, and political sustainability that opens up the southern continent to science, discovery, and imagination.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nielsen, H and Lucas, C and Leane, E
Keywords: regionality, Antarctica, gateway cities, polar gateways, Tasmania
Journal or Publication Title: M/C Journal
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
ISSN: 1441-2616
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Hanna E.F. Nielsen. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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