Antarctica is unique in that is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) and is not ‘owned’ by any one nation. Despite this, and the environmental protection built into the ATS, Antarctica has been ‘sold’ in many ways, including via stories, sponsorship, and the use of symbolic tropes.’ This project involves semiotic interpretation of advertisements that feature Antarctica, and textual analysis of advertising brochures and web text. Incisive examples from a range of time periods (Heroic Era, 1950s and today) are used to address the following questions:
• How have people used Antarctica as an end to achieve monetary goals through sponsorship?
• How is Antarctica used symbolically to sell things that have nothing to do with the place itself?
• What themes emerge from advertisements that feature Antarctica?
Gaining an understanding of how Antarctica has been ‘sold’ in various ways and used to facilitate a range of commercial transactions will provide an insight into the ways the continent has been imagined, conceptualised and represented. This in turn will help to create a better understanding of the ways Antarctica has been valued, in a variety of senses.