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Naturalizing the 'primitive': A critique of marketing Australia's indigenous peoples as 'hunter-gatherers'

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper explores the representation of Australia's indigenous peoples in the visual and verbal texts of the Australian Tourist Commission's (ATC) international advertising campaigns. These advertisements employed representations of Australia's indigenous people to signify experiences of ecotourism, the escape to a primeval world and the adventure of an untamed frontier. I analyse these symbolic representations of indigenous Australians using semiotic techniques. By employing these representations within advertising strategies, the ATC differentiated Australia as an international tourist destination. The ATC's attempt to attract international tourists to sustain an economically prosperous tourism sector also provides the potential visitor with a range of cultural tools enabling the construction of fantasy, meaning and identity. My critical reading suggests that the ATC's representation of indigenous peoples helps maintain the myths of either eco-angels or noble savages reiterating colonial power relations. Given the official contemporary rhetoric over the term 'Aboriginally', attention is drawn to the contradictions created by this imagery. © Routledge 1999.

Publication Date


  • 1999

Citation


  • Waitt, G. (1999). Naturalizing the 'primitive': A critique of marketing Australia's indigenous peoples as 'hunter-gatherers'. Tourism Geographies, 1(2), 142-163. doi:10.1080/14616689908721306

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0004649319

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 142

End Page


  • 163

Volume


  • 1

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • This paper explores the representation of Australia's indigenous peoples in the visual and verbal texts of the Australian Tourist Commission's (ATC) international advertising campaigns. These advertisements employed representations of Australia's indigenous people to signify experiences of ecotourism, the escape to a primeval world and the adventure of an untamed frontier. I analyse these symbolic representations of indigenous Australians using semiotic techniques. By employing these representations within advertising strategies, the ATC differentiated Australia as an international tourist destination. The ATC's attempt to attract international tourists to sustain an economically prosperous tourism sector also provides the potential visitor with a range of cultural tools enabling the construction of fantasy, meaning and identity. My critical reading suggests that the ATC's representation of indigenous peoples helps maintain the myths of either eco-angels or noble savages reiterating colonial power relations. Given the official contemporary rhetoric over the term 'Aboriginally', attention is drawn to the contradictions created by this imagery. © Routledge 1999.

Publication Date


  • 1999

Citation


  • Waitt, G. (1999). Naturalizing the 'primitive': A critique of marketing Australia's indigenous peoples as 'hunter-gatherers'. Tourism Geographies, 1(2), 142-163. doi:10.1080/14616689908721306

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0004649319

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 142

End Page


  • 163

Volume


  • 1

Issue


  • 2