Fantasy Islands: Photography, empathy, and Australia's detention archipelago

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Since British colonisation in 1788, those wishing to immigrate to Australia have been the subject of intense photographic and scholarly scrutiny. In the most recent history of immigration and refugee policy, two moments warrant further critical attention: 2001, the year of the Tampa incident, the Children Overboard affair, and the Pacific Solution; and 2013, when the Abbott government introduced increased and ongoing border production measures through Operation Sovereign Borders. The present chapter contextualizes this history by drawing upon two long-standing scholarly debates. One concerns the constitution of a sense of Australian identity and being, itself an interdisciplinary exchange about whiteness, heritage, and cultural diversity. The other examines the social impact of photographs of distant suffering, their power to create feelings of empathy, and their role in humanitarianism and human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotography and Migration
EditorsTanya Sheehan
Place of PublicationAbingdon,UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315276953
ISBN (Print)9781138244399, 9781138244405
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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