In 1929 prominent Austro-German filmmaker and author Colin Ross visited Australia
with his family for several months. In his literary and cinematic work on
Australia Ross establishes a perplexing argument: Australia’s “nordic myth” (the
White Australia policy) exposes the continent to the peril of an Asian invasion.
In accordance with concepts of cultural hegemony within the framework of the
so-called German liberal imperialism and driven by Germany’s ambition to reestablish
a presence in its former colonial realm, he advocates for the forced
immigration of South European laborers to the continent to populate the vast
“empty space” of Australia and guard against the menacing consequences of a
British-Japanese pact. This article discusses the visual and literary strategies
employed by Ross to popularize geo-political thinking in Germany, thereby
inducing a shift in the travelogue genre from appealing to “colonial desire” to
promoting the politics of an emerging imperialism.