This ‘phantasmatic diversity’, this multiculturalism ‘for all of us’, dissuades recognition of diversity as structural difference with historical antecedents… While the political struggles over migrant rights aren’t at the centre of Gippsland Immigration Park, the local history of the coal industry and its implications for working life and mobility, are. Here, the Park challenges celebratory state multiculturalism and histories of industrial progress.
for cohorts who were denied the opportunity to openly express othernesss (beyond trivial renditions of ethnicity), it’s not unexpected that their ‘internal worlds’, rather than clearly identified public spaces, should be richer and unarchived.
They are motivated by a desire to publicly remember the trials of their mothers, single working migrant women. Accordingly, many are also motivated by a sense of exclusion and injustice. However, not all the stories they voice are negative, although they do have the potential to challenge existing notions of post-war migrant ‘welcome’.
But what is ‘Making Migrant Heritage’? The rationale for the project grew out of a concern that too little scholarly attention had been paid to how ‘subaltern’ publics, including the ‘migrants’ who are the subject of many exhibitions and commemorations, actively create and publicise their own ‘heritage’.