Mawson and Mirnyy Stations: the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory, 1954-61

Article


Collis, Christy. 2007. "Mawson and Mirnyy Stations: the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory, 1954-61." Australian Geographer. 38 (2), pp. 215-231. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049180701422407
Article Title

Mawson and Mirnyy Stations: the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory, 1954-61

ERA Journal ID2002
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorCollis, Christy
Journal TitleAustralian Geographer
Journal Citation38 (2), pp. 215-231
Number of Pages17
Year2007
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0004-9182
1465-3311
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00049180701422407
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00049180701422407
Abstract

This article focuses on the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) in the important 1954-1961 period. Attending particularly to three key components of polar spatiality—geopolitics, international territorial law, and the built environment—the article analyses the development of the AAT as a unique Australian space. The 1954-1961 period is particularly significant: during this period, the International Geophysical Year brought an unprecedented number of people to Antarctica; the continent’s first permanent colonies were constructed; and, despite Cold War tensions, the 1961 Antarctic Treaty established the spatial configurations and rules which continue to govern the continent today. The article focuses particularly on two key stations in the AAT constructed during this period: Australia’s Mawson Station and the Soviet Mirnyy Station. Mawson is a legal colony, designed to cement Australia’s claim to 42% of the Antarctic continent; Mirnyy, in contrast, is an anti-colony, designed to reject Australia’s claim. How the individual spatialities of these two stations articulate to the broader politics of Antarctican territoriality—and particularly Australia’s claim to the AAT—is the focus of this article.

KeywordsAustralian Antarctic Territory; Cold War; Colonialism; Cultural geography; Mawson Station; Mirnyy Station
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440601. Cultural geography
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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