Grafting cultures: Longing and belonging in immigrants' gardens and backyards in Fairfield

George Morgan, Cristina Rocha, Scott Poynting

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores migration stories and examines the ways migrants use their gardens as sites of cultural practice in the Fairfield municipality of Western Sydney, one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Australia. We argue that many of those from diverse cultural backgrounds use their gardens in ways very different from the stereotypical conceptions of Australian suburbia. Far from being idyllic places of retreat and repose separate from the world of work, our research reveals that many migrant gardens are places in which creative labour is expended to symbolise connections not only to homeland but also to Australia and to other cultures. We concentrate in this paper on two general patterns of backyard activity. The first is intensively horticultural, involving creating a backyard smallholding for growing produce traditional to the homeland. Secondly those, mainly from urban or middle-class backgrounds, who transform their backyards into exhibition spaces, outlets for their creative impulses as artists and amateur curators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2005


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