Australia, Bollywood and Cosmopolitanism: Showcasing Australia Internationally
Over the past ten years, Australia has been used increasingly as a background location in Indian feature films, music videos and television advertisements, and Bollywood film-makers are offered government incentives to film in Australia in order to showcase Australia in India. The progressive liberalisation of the Indian economy since the early 1990s has led to competition between capitalist economies to do business with India, and Bollywood is regarded internationally by government trade and tourism commissions as a means of destination marketing. This paper considers the branding of the Australian city as both cosmopolitan and multicultural, and analyses the tensions between different definitions of cosmopolitanism implicit in government advertising. It then assesses representations of Australia in such movies as Dil Chahta Hai (2002), Salaam Namaste (2005) and Heyy Babyy (2007) both in relation to Australian brand messages and in relation to images of other cities, such as London, New York and Singapore, which also appear in Bollywood. Finally, this paper considers how a Bollywood Australia is regarded among South Asian communities in Australia, and how Bollywood’s own representation of a diasporic or transnational Indian identity relates to an Australian South Asian sense of belonging.
Keywords: Australia, Bollywood, Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, Transnationalism, Indian Diaspora, South Asian Diaspora, Destination Marketing
Dr. Andrew Hassam
Honorary Research Associate, School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University