Constitutions of Site and Visitor at the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery Site

Kylie Ann Crane


Located just off the North Walpole Road, the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery Site can be seen as a node of several different historical trajectories which are – to different extents – documented in the artworks which frame, or decorate, the site. My account draws on my own biography and probes the investments I have in my various post-settler entanglements with the area. I critique, in particular, the idea of ‘wilderness’ as one formative to post-settler narrations and myths at the same time that it places indigenous practices of belonging under erasure. For, most recently, Swarbrick stood metonymically for the campaign to preserve ‘old growth forests’, culminating at the end of the 1990s, and yet it is and has been also a site of logging, agriculture, Noongar belonging, that is, of pre-colonial and settler colonial spatial practices. In this article, I explore the different ways the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery site positions itself, and, critically, its visitor within frameworks provided by ecocritical and environmental discourse and post-settler theories.


Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Post-Settler Belonging, Fictocriticism, Landscape Architecture, Wilderness

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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