William Blandowski was an explorer, natural scientist and artist who led a Victorian government expedition to the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers from 1856 to 1857. Australia is the first publication in English of his nineteenth-century illustrated encyclopaedia of Aboriginal life, Australien in 142 photographischen Abbildungen nach zehnjarigen Erfahrungen. In Australia, Blandowski explores the potential of images to portray the lives of people engaged in everyday activities, as well as dramatic conflicts and rituals. They include Blandowski's own photographs, and photographs of sketches or illustrations created by others, including the only nineteenth-century portrait image of the Nyeri Nyeri people. By reading Australia, we become on-the-spot participants in moments of 'first contact'.
Associate Professor Harry Allen teaches in the Department of Anthroplogy at Auckland University, New Zealand. He is a Research Associate at La Trobe University. Victoria.