AustLit logo


Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Giving Spaces/Spaces of Giving : Accommodation in Floating Life
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'While the rhetoric of border security and protection has always been present in public debates about immigration in Australia, the Tampa crisis in 2001 appears to have amplified its significance. What I propose here is a shift from the rhetoric of border protection to the rhetoric of hospitality, from the borders of nation and national identity to the borders (or limits) of hospitality. I argue that the discussions about immigration in the Australian context need to be reconfigured: to move away from immigration as a 'problem' that threatens Australia's border security and national identity towards extending the possibilities of hospitality and its implications for relations between migrant subjects and their 'host' nations. This article examines these debates in relation to the film Floating Life (Clara Law, 1996), which charts the transnational journeys and border crossings of a Hong Kong Chinese family, shifting between Australia, Hong Kong and Germany. Floating Life suggests that the hospitality offered to Asian migrants in Australia is haunted by the historical conditions in which Asian migration was encouraged in the years following the abolition of the White Australia policy. I argue that accommodation might be a productive means by which hospitality can be reconfigured. Floating Life explores how practices of accommodation are negotiated and performed in the shadow of official discourses of hospitality. The film's representation of communication technologies demonstrates how, in spite of spatial boundaries, relationships between diasporic communities can be nurtured and maintained.'

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 13 Nov 2013 09:15:47
107-119 Giving Spaces/Spaces of Giving : Accommodation in Floating Lifesmall AustLit logo Studies in Australasian Cinema
  • Floating Life Clara Law , Eddie Fong Ling-Ching , 1996 single work film/TV
    Powered by Trove