Barossa Dreaming: Food, Festivals and Fetishism in Rural Australia
(University of Adelaide)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines how representations of food and wine constitute the Barossa Valley in South Australia as a site of tradition, authenticity and nostalgia for an idealized rural past.
Paper long abstract:
It is difficult to imagine a rural region of Australia more thoroughly integrated into the world economy than the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Dominated by a handful of transnational corporations, the wine industry is as thoroughly incorporated into the hegemonic system of global commodity flows as any other part of the country. It is therefore somewhat paradoxical to find that images and representations of heritage, tradition and the authentic community figure pervasively in the intense commodification of the Barossa. In this paper, I detail the representational and discursive processes by which food and festivals are fetishized to constitute the Barossa Valley as a site of nostalgic dreaming. I argue that the advent of the Slow Food movement is the latest addition to these processes. But it is equally important to recognize what is strategically omitted from view.