About the Book
Have you ever wondered what might have happened if someone else had colonised Australia? Neverland probes the veneer of Australian identity to find a deep yearning for an alternative nationhood – if only Australia was compassionate like Sweden, as cultured as France, spiritual in the Russian style, enjoyed the Japanese reverence for nature, or had accepted Aboriginal sovereignty from the beginning.
Neverland uncovers the exotic elements of Australian culture, including Tasmania’s King of Iceland, Australian Shinto, the suburban Dostoevsky, Israel of the Kimberleys, the Bektashi backyard, the Aussie bossa nova, Balanda dreaming and Calcutta tram songs. What emerges is a strange and stimulating cosmopolitan hybrid that Australia might have been … and may still!
Though real and magical detours, Neverland reveals lateral approaches to issues of reconciliation and xenophobia, before ‘passing the pipe’ to other Australian writers – inviting them each to give their own vision, dream or alternate history if Australia hadn’t been colonised by the British.
Includes speculations by:
Dennis Altman • Greg Barnes • Itiel Beresen • David Carter • Julie Copeland • Nikki Gemmell • Fiona Giles • Barry Hindess • Christopher Kelen • Duncan Kerr • Niall Lucy • Mardi McConnachie • Tom Morton • Nikos Papastergiadis • Guy Rundle • John Slavin • Lesley Stern • Christos Tsiolkas • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Dr Kevin Murray is Adjunct Professor RMIT University. In 2000-2007 he was Director of Craft Victoria where he developed the Scarf Festival and the South Project, a four-year program of exchange involving Melbourne, Wellington, Santiago and Johannesburg. He has curated many exhibitions, including 'Signs of Change: Jewellery Designed for a Better World'; 'The World of Small Things'; 'Symmetry: Crafts Meet Kindred Trades and Professions'; 'Water Medicine: Precious Works for an Arid Continent'; 'Guild Unlimited: Ten Jewellers Make Insignia for Potential Guilds'; 'Seven Sisters: Fibre Works from the West'; 'Common Goods: Cultures Meet through Craft' for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. His books include Craft Unbound: Make the Common Precious (Thames & Hudson, 2005). He is currently a Vice-President of the World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region, online editor for the Journal of Modern Craft and coordinator of Southern Perspectives, a south-south intellectual network.