From Cobra Grubs to Dragons: Negotiating the Politics of Representation in Cultural Research

Tanja Dreher


‘From cobra grubs to dragons’ was suggested as the title for a cultural tour of the Fairfield area in Sydney developed by the author and others through a partnership between the Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), the Fairfield City Council (FCC) and the Migration Heritage Centre of the NSW government. The cultural researchers involved in producing the tour felt that this title was an evocative description of the tour which enables participants to visit numerous sites associated with Fairfield’s cultural diversity. As the project developed, a key funding partner vetoed that title, to be replaced by the prosaic ‘Tune in to Fairfield City: a multicultural driving tour’ which now appears on the audio CD and map which contain instructions for motorists to take the tour. This article analyses the rather more complex issues of naming and representation, voice and authority raised by this cultural research project.


Cultural research; cultural studies; research; practice; Fairfield; South West Sydney; naming; representation; voice; authority; politics

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