We can see them operating in the same way as new museums around the world, as trying ‘to avoid homogeneity by engaging with their specific political and cultural environments’ (Message and Healy). No longer did trams serve a conservative governmental attempt at controlling everyday experience, or at containing the identity of the city’s individuals within a single imagined concept. What they now did was offer a subversion to the narrative of a coherent, homogenous identity for Melbournians. Andrea Witcomb argues that the Museum of Sydney’s varied mix of everyday Australian products prevented people from subscribing the objects to a general understanding of what it meant to be an Australian. By developing this argument, new museums offer a challenge to the naturalisation of one-ness, or sameness, in our country, and the trams’ subversiveness operates in a similar fashion.
– Excerpt from an essay I am currently
not working working on.