Centenary of Canberra Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Centenary of Canberra

National capital cities, also referred to as the national cultural institutions (NCIs), are omnipresent social and spatial phenomena which have surfaced and sustained across the years simultaneously with the concept and the emergence of the nation-state (Therborn 2002). At an over-all level, this paper hence seeks to investigate how national capitals as a definite type of space have already been socially formed. More especially, this paper seeks regarding Centenary of Canberra to explore the way the NCIs positioned in the town donate to the production of it as a national capital space. Moreover, this paper also assess the various what social phenomena that lead to these NCIs serving as the creating outlets for space (Lefebvre 1991; Soja 1989, 2000) The paper will also compare the NCIs of Canberra and Washington, highlighting similarities and differences.


As opposed to the socio-political and economic stance of the researchers in the past like Lefebvre and Soja, the overall capital supply, destruction and collection aren't centered on here in this paper. Instead, while identifying and accepting that they don't tell the entire story, this particular paper will highlight and study three specific phenomena that seem to be definitely related and linked to the construction of Canberra's NCIs as producers of national capital space.

Keeping in mind how studies have over the years traditionally analyzed the dialectical association between the phenomena of space and the social structures, the three significantly essential factors that have been highlighted include: the original thought and its implementation of the national capital space; the regular or standard practices of national leadership within the NCIs; and, the alterations that take place as a result within the transnational and national management structures (Ostrom 2006: 5). All these factors are undoubtedly used as the foundation for all the assessments on the Canberra NCI done in this paper.

To further explain this, an NCI can be explained as an organization legally held by the nation-state, and hence is generally titled as 'national' or follows the signature or name of the nation-state that owns it, and simultaneously functions in numerous manners in the expansive liberty of the 'cultural life' observed within that nation-state. Practical illustrations from the NCIs present in Canberra range from the Australian War Memorial (AWM), National Gallery of Australia (NGA), National Library of Australia (NLA), and National Museum of Australia (NMA), the Australian National Botanical Gardens (ANBG), and the National Screen and Sound Archives (NASSA). Famous non-Australian monuments also exist as part of its identity and include structures like the British Museum, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., and Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

As the proposals of the Commonwealth government Canberra's NCIs could be interpreted as aspects of the production of 'state spatial projects' and 'state spatial strategies' (Beer, 2006), & most broadly speaking, the production of the area of an Australian nation-state with Canberra while the national capital space in this nation-state space. Hence, it is safe to say that the overall imagination of Canberra's NCIs results in the creation of two primary dynamic aspects that serve as the space producers (within the framework of additional producers of national capital space, like the Parliament). All these aspects thus through their basic design, function and implementation as NCIs within the capital space of Canberra add to its character and national identity.

To just take the latter dimension first, as the design of the buildings that accommodate the NCIs relate specific anecdotes about these establishments, these plans also 'indicate' or produce the area of the wider city that they're situated within. For instance, the respective design of the peripheral Australian War Memorial (AWM), the National Library of Australia (NLA), the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), and the National Museum of Australia (NMA) all image-wise propose a city in the process of creation that is obviously influenced by the Western nation-state structures, but jointly don't emphasize any explicit post-classical regional tradition in this field (i.e. The architecture deployed collectively isn't, for instance, obviously 'English' or 'Irish').

The location chosen for those institutions also indicates the area of Canberra as national capital space. First of all, the concentration of those institutions with branded titles of 'National', 'Australian' and 'of Australia' in Canberra (as well as a corresponding lack of these establishments anywhere else within the continent of Australia) suggest the area of Canberra as 'national capital space'. Secondly, the specific locations of those institutions within the area of Canberra definitely construct the area of the town. All the major NCIs can be found inside these significantly defined locations in the town, like the fundamental location of the Parliamentary Triangle that is placed amid the New Parliament House building and the Lake Burley Griffin. Other examples for this spatial placement include the AWM and NMA that are located along the Walter Burley-Griffin's illustrated axes of the town. In both of the aforementioned examples, through being proudly located where they are, the NCIs concurrently and dialectically solidified with the use of concrete and therefore are reified and recognized by these locations within Canberra.

Another major dimension through the NCIs produce Canberra as national capital space is within their imagination and practice as NCIs, and especially in as far as these techniques correspond with transnational and national imaginations and techniques of national capital space. Whilst every one of the world's omnipresent and obvious national capital spaces is different and unique in its own way, they do have the same or similar defining characteristic to be central spaces and instants in history that have significance in the political dimensions of the nation-states (Hall 2000). Hence NCIs create national capital space when the design such 'centrality' within the country or state instead of a national capital city.

Further than these universal faculties, each national capital space, like every other urban structure is unique distinct, and hence is built around aspects that reflect its chronological development and neighboring representation of national capital space (Lefebvre 1991; Castells 1983). Moreover, these national capital spaces might coexist with other styles of capital, like the financial organizations or establishment as well as the religious capitals, along with other social spaces, like the commoditized locations or gendered regions.

With regards to creating and identifying producing Canberra as national capital space in Australia, the AWM hence broadly speaking contributes in as far as it techniques, is implemented and perceived while the leading space inside Australia in the memorial of the nation's war deceased, preserving the military forces service of constituents of the country, and the description of the knowledge of Australia at war. The NMA broadly speaking contributes in as far as it is, for instance, a number one location for the narration of national urban myths of Australia and the compilation and exhibit of solidified objects; in the same way the NGA plays a role in the creation of national capital space in as far as it functions as a number one space of gathering and presenting art inside the national space of Australia. This broad construction of space happens more solidly through the use of NCIs and the representation of numerous compilations, understanding, investigative support, and teaching programs, and through utilization of their standardized and distinct advertising and promotional operations.

The overall functionality of the NCIs also creates national capital space in a much more defined way. Many NCIs in Canberra earnestly seek to function as the foremost locations in the professional practice of the subfield inside the national space of Australia irrespective of whether these would be amongst museums, galleries, or libraries (etc.). An average of, this leadership may be in the techniques of collection, or understanding, or advertising, or protection.

In summing it up, both aspects, i.e. leadership practice of the NCIs and the look and located area of the buildings that house them in Canberra, obviously donate to the production of the town as national capital space. The question that future studies should seek to deal with though is what social aspects and dimension have created these space-producing techniques? In doing this, three particular social phenomena should be identified and explored in future studies.

Building on the above mentioned discussion on the national leadership of Canberra's NCIs, further studies must subsequently analyze the way the NCIs have already been formed as producers of national capital space by their techniques of national leadership in a single dimension or yet another, inside a broader framework of modification in the transnational and national perception and function of the museum-like social and intellectual organizations. In the next section, we will compare and contrast the national space created within Canberra and Washington.

Canberra and Washington DC: Comparisons and Recommendations

Below are listed some of the similarities found between the NCIs in Canberra and Washington:

• Both founded on the promotion and implementation of sustainable urban surroundings

• Both first engaged in partnerships and alliances with high-profile business that would generate profit, increase shareholder interest and increase foreign investment opportunities

• The overall funding and team for the creation of the…

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