Shadows on the Landscape: an Inquiry into the Value of Places (13919)
This presentation will examine how places are identified and the role of heritage in the construction of national identity. Valued places, both natural and cultural, represent a public geography which serves to locate us in society and in time, so the choice of places to protect and what to erect reveals the contemporary values of a nation’s collective identity; but perceptions of places or events are not static. This research seeks to uncover a lost geography of place and time in Australia when the great eclipse of 1922 was embraced, debated and celebrated throughout our continent and by our nation. Some Australian places became the essential part of a great international scientific community. The world watched and waited, and human understanding of the science of the universe was linked to some of earth’s remotest places, here in Australia. What remains is the intangible heritage of narrative and backstory. Perhaps it is time for more backstories to be brought into our placemaking, one being our nation and our lost places in the history of science.