Dreher, Tanja, 2006, From cobra grubs to dragons: negotiating the politics of representation in cultural research, Cultural Studies Review, 12(2), 90-106.
This seemingly obscure title, ‘from cobra grubs to dragons’, is chosen precisely because it was not used as the name of the cultural research project analysed in this paper. ‘From Cobra Grubs to Dragons’ was suggested as the title for a cultural tour of the Fairfield area in Sydney developed by myself and others through a partnership between the Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), the Fairfield City Council (FCC) and the Migration Heritage Centre of the NSW government. The cultural researchers involved in producing the tour felt that this title was an evocative description of the tour which guides participants in visiting numerous sites illustrating Fairfield’s cultural diversity: from places associated with the Cabrogal mob that lived in the area prior to invasion, to the dragons which decorate the many Buddhist temples built by migrants and refugees settling in the area from Indochina. As the project developed, a key funding partner vetoed that title, to be replaced by the prosaic ‘Tune in to Fairfield City: a Multicultural Driving Tour’ which now appears on the audio CD, map and instructions that enable motorists to take the tour. This paper analyses the rather more complex issues of naming and representation, partnership and voice raised by this cultural research project.